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BERKELEY h. e. van norman, vice-director and dean 

University Farm School 

March, 1919 





In the selection of a farm perhaps the most important question is 
the gross income that may be expected. If the farm is a going concern 
the seller should be required to furnish a statement of sales covering 
the preceding five years. In California the area of the farm is not 
significant. Size should be thought of only in relation to financial 
returns. A barley farm, under biennial cropping, may need to con- 
tain four hundred acres in order to yield a gross return of $4000, 
while a lemon grove of ten acres may bring in the same amount of 
money. It is true that the net profit may not be the same in both 
cases, but nevertheless as a rough and ready means of determining 
whether the farm examined will be suitable, the gross income is per- 
haps the most important indicator that it is practicable to obtain. If 
the land has never yielded a return or is to be put to some new use 
which will produce a different income, then the vital question is, 
when will the new return begin. If three years must elapse before 
any income may be expected, then the investment must be discounted 
in just the same way as stocks and bonds are discounted when dividend 
or interest is passed for three years. 

If the gross income must be estimated it may be done by obtaining 
the average yield and average price for the principal California crops 
through a series of years from the Year Book published annually by 
the United States Department of Agriculture. Under present con- 
ditions an average of not less than ten years should be taken. This 
having been determined, some estimate must be sought from some 
unbiased person as to the relative adaptability of the land in question 
as compared with the average of the state (page 18). The new settler 
may be much perplexed because the average covering a series of years 

is less than that given in statements concerning known yields of the 
land in question. It may help to clear up this perplexity to state that 
it is a safe business rule to assume that the average yield of a piece 
of land over a series of years may be 40 per cent of the best known 


In order to assist a new settler in California, a table has been 
prepared, from such data as are available, showing the yields that may 
be expected when the crop is grown by a competent man in a location 
adapted to it. The figures given below may be said to represent the 
best judgment of those who, through actual experience and observa- 
tion, are competent to judge. The figures are in no sense official. 

Too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the fact that the figures 
given in the table opposite are intended to apply to average land and 
not to the best land adapted to any particular crop. There are large 
areas in California where five tons of alfalfa per annum may be 
deemed a safe estimate and where competent men would not under- 
take to raise alfalfa if they did not expect six tons per acre. On 
the other hand, there are some areas where much smaller yields may 
be considered satisfactory. 

The chief purpose of this table is to emphasize the teaching that 
the large yields which are obtained under very favorable conditions 
are not a true business guide. It is necessary to recognize that only 
fractions of such possible yields are obtained ordinarily in actual 
practice. Our purpose is not to try to state what yield may be 
obtained under each given condition of soil and climate, but to give 
a sort of working basis for reasonable estimation. Thus if in a given 
region, on a particular type of soil, one determines that it has been 
found possible to get a yield of thirteen tons of alfalfa per acre, 5.2 
tons of alfalfa would be a safe estimate for business purposes on the 
basis above stated. If, on the other hand, eight tons were found to be 
an extraordinary yield, then 3.2 tons are all that could be safely 
expected as an average. However, it must always be kept in mind 
that the competent man may hope to secure better yields. The second 
and third columns in the following table are the ones to which the 
reader should give his chief attention. 


The next most important question, and perhaps this one should 
have been put first, is whether the wife and family will be contented 
in the location contemplated. Climate consists of something more 

Average, Probable, and Possible, Yields' 


per acre 

Wheat, bu 16 

Oats, bu 34 

Barley, bu 28 

Potatoes, bu 130 

Alfalfa, ton 3.5 

Grain hay, ton 1.25 

Cotton, Durango, lb 300 

Eice, rough, lb 2000 

Hops, lb 1500 

Beans, field, lb 1100 

Onions, sack 100 

Sugar beets, ton 9 

Butter fat, per cow, lb... 150 

Oranges, box 150 

Lemons, box 175 

Eaisins, Muscat, ton .... 0.75 

Eaisins, Seedless, ton .. 0.75 

Grapes, shipping, ton 3.0 

Grapes, interior, wine, 

ton 3.0 

Grapes, Coast, wine, ton 2.0 

Olives, ton 1.0 

Walnuts, ton 0.4 

Almonds, ton 0.4 

Prunes, dried, ton 1.25 

Plums, shipping, crate.... 250 

Apricots, dried, ton 0.75 

Apricots, shipping, crate 250 

Pears, ton 4.0 

Peaches, dried, ton 0.75 

Peaches, shipping, box.... 300 

Apples, box 200 

Cherries, ton 1.25 

A safe 


A good yield 
which com- 
petent men 
may hope to 

Yield not 
under favor- 
able conditions 

but extra- 

































































































































barley, 50 ; 

corn, 52 ; oats, 

32 ; and wheat, 


uniform nor standardized. 

The variation i 

is due to the 

fullness of the sacks and the volume weight of the grain. 

Good plump barley 110-115 pounds per sack. 

Second class barley 100 pounds per sack. 

Heavy extra wheat 125-150 pounds per sack. 

Average wheat 120-135 pounds per sack. 

Heavy oats in barley sacks 100 pounds per sack. 

Light oats in barley sacks 85- 90 pounds per sack. 

Oats in regular oat sacks, about 125 pounds per sack. 

Beans 80-100 pounds per sack. 

Potatoes 110-120 pounds per sack. 

than temperature and rainfall. Humi'dity, wind, dust, fog, mud, and 
mosquitoes are factors to which human beings are extremely sensitive. 
In California, perhaps, in greater degree than in most other states 
certain agricultural industries have been chiefly carried on by certain 
races of people. It is, therefore, the part of wisdom to look into all 
such matters carefully. With electric power, automobiles, telephone, 
and free rural delivery, there is no difficulty in California in making 
a farm home comfortable and attractive. Examples are found on 
every hand. 

Social contacts are necessary, not only to happiness but also to 
right living, all of which can generally be worked out satisfactorily. 
The point is that unless some thought is given in advance to these 
questions, disappointments may occur. If the would-be purchaser is 
satisfied with the gross income the farm will produce, and his wife is 
satisfied with the social contacts she will be able to make, two impor- 
tant desiderata are achieved. 


Perhaps the next question to settle is the size of the investment. 
In pre-war times the gross income per annum from the farms of the 
United States was approximately one-sixth of the capital invested. 
As the gross income increased in money value, as it had over a series 
of years, the capitalization of the farms was increased in approxi- 
mately the same proportion. Both go up or down somewhat auto- 
matically, although not necessarily quite concurrently. 

A competent farmer should expect, and no one should undertake 
to farm unless he may reasonably expect, to produce 50 per cent 
more than the average. On this basis, the gross income per annum 
may be estimated at 25 per cent of the capital invested. A gross 
income of $4000 would require, therefore, an investment of $16,000. 
This does not mean that every legitimate farm enterprise will, or 
should bring in just 25 per cent of the capital invested. This state- 
ment is only meant to give one a ' ' yard stick ' ' with which to measure 
any definite farming enterprise. The reasoning here is similar to 
that used relative to other investments. If it be accepted that 5 per 
cent is a legitimate interest on good securities, it does not mean that 
6 per cent may not be obtained with safety, nor that if there are some 
unusual provision, as for example, tax exemptions, one may not be 
satisfied with 4 per cent interest. Nevertheless, one knows almost 
instinctively that if the interest is below 4 per cent or above 6 per cent, 
there is something about the securities that is not quite normal. The 

condition is the same with regard to farming, except that the latter 
is subject to much greater fluctuations than many other enterprises. If 
for example, the farm is only returning a gross income of 10 per cent 
or is claiming to return a gross income of 50 per cent on the invest- 
ment, it becomes apparent that a very careful analysis of the reasons 
for the facts must be made before purchasing. 


The average California farm investment in pre-war times was, in 
round numbers, for land and buildings, $16,500, for livestock $1500, 
and for farm machinery $400, making a total investment of $18,400. 
The investment in land and buildings in California farms under 20 
acres in area was in 1910 about $6000 ; for farms between 20 and 49 
acres about $9000 ; for farms between 50 and 174 acres about $14,000 ; 
for farms between 175 and 999 acres about $25,000, and for farms 
over 1000 acres about $80,000. 

In California farms are operated in three ways: 

1. By the owner, 

2. By renter, or 

3. By manager. 

The investment in rented farms is larger than that in farms operated 
by the owner, because the former must not only yield a living to the 
lessee if possible, but in addition at least a part of a living to the 

In i910 farms in California operated by owners averaged 227 
acres ; those operated by renters 342 acres. A certain sized farm 
devoted to a given industry may produce a satisfactory income for 
one family and yet the income may not be sufficient to pay in addition 
the interest and reduce the principal on a large mortgage. One may 
say that it is not good business if the income does not produce a good 
living plus surplus for reducing capital, but the fact is that many 
farms are capitalized only on the basis of a satisfactory living. One 
of the difficulties in making enough out of a farm to pay interest and 
reduce principal in addition to making a satisfactory living, is that 
in such cases one must compete with other farmers in the United 
States who carry no encumbrances and are content with a living. 

One reason why renting is, on an average, less satisfactory than 
farm ownership in America is that the lessee must compete with 
three other men who own their land. In England where perhaps 
95 per cent of all the actual farmers are renters, tenant farming is 
a more satisfactory business. Laws and customs have also thrown 

safeguards around the renter in European countries which are not 
found here. 

Prior to the war the average farm-owning farmer in California 
operated a farm worth $12,000. This farm carried on an average 
an indebtedness of $3000, making the farm owner's equity $9000. 
From the above data and taking into account the changed conditions 
due to the war, it would seem that an investment or a credit of less 
than $10,000 can hardly be expected to return such an income as will 
enable a farmer to raise and educate a self-respecting family. On 
the other hand, it would appear that an investment of $20,000 wisely 
made, will give ample opportunity for the development of an attrac- 
tive enterprise. 

Land settlement plans, such as those of the State Colony at Dur- 
ham, are based on such general considerations as those just stated. 
Tracts are divided into sizes which sell, unimproved, for amounts not 
exceeding $15,000. It is estimated that the buildings may cost $3000, 
while the investment in horses, implements, and tools for operation 
is estimated at $2000, making a total investment of $20,000. However, 
by specialization, such as breeding of improved livestock, or by plant- 
ing orchards or vineyards, the capitalization and, therefore, the gross 
income may be increased. 


Everyone is born into the world without capital. Few young men 
of 21 have a capital of $10,000, much less $20,000. There was a time, 
not long ago, when the normal process of becoming a farmer was to 
homestead a piece of government land. Theoretically it is still an 
available process, but practically it is non-existent. Following the 
homesteading era, came the process of leasing followed by subsequent 
purchase ; not, however, necessarily of the same land. Next to partial 
or complete inheritance, this is still the normal and usual process. 

For social as well as economic reasons leasing is not looked upon 
favorably. From the standpoint of national welfare it is desirable to 
find some more satisfactory plan. Nevertheless, it may be better to be 
a large renter than a small land holder. It may also be a good 
method for a young man with small capital to determine what it is 
possible for him to do as well as to earn the necessary capital for the 
purchase of a farm. The data already submitted show that before 
the war the investment in floating capital, livestock, machinery, and 
implements was on an average less than $2000 per farm. Therefore, 
a man could establish himself as a renter at an investment of $2000. 

It would cost somewhat more than this sum now, but the amount 
would probably not be greatly increased since a considerable part of 
this investment is in horses and mules, which have not increased 
in price. 


The recent Farm Loan Act, which is now fully operative, furnishes 
the means of obtaining half the capital necessary to purchase a tract 
of land. The Farm Loan Act provides that loans may be made on 
real estate to the extent of 50 per cent of the appraised value, at such 
a rate that by paying 8 per cent per year the principal including 
interest upon this half of the investment will be paid in full in 
twenty years. The purchaser will find that borrowing money through 
this agency not only gives him a low interest rate but also is a helpful 
means of determining the value of the land, since if the government 
appraiser will not loan to one-half the proposed purchase price it may 
not be wise to make the deal. If a man has $10,000 he may purchase 
a farm worth $16,000 by obtaining a federal farm loan of $8000. The 
purchaser will have left $2000 for procuring teams, implements and 
for living expenses. The loan can be canceled by paying $320 semi- 
annually for twenty years. 1 


The Land Settlement plan in this state provides that farm 
allotments may be sold having a value, without improvements, not 
exceeding $15,000. In the State Colony at Durham, the actual con- 
tracts for unimproved land involve amounts which range generally 
from $7,000 to $11,000, although a few contracts were made involving 
amounts under $5000 and several ranged in value between $14,000 and 
$15,000. Without regard to the amount involved in the contract the 
settler was not regarded eligible unless he had $1500, or a working 
equipment of implements or livestock which is the equivalent of such 
capital. Settlers were advised, however, that $2500 to $3000 was a 
better sum for those contemplating a contract involving $10,000 or 
more for unimproved land. 

The following is an illustration of how the financing is done under 
the Land Settlement plan. A certain allotment holder with a capital 
of $5000 received a farm for which he contracted to pay $9996 for the 
unimproved land and $1350 for certain improvements. He made a 
deposit of $500 on the land and $540 on the improvements and had 

i For further information concerning federal farm loans address District Fed- 
eral Farm Loan Bank, Berkeley, California. 


left for the development of his enterprise $3960. His half-yearly 
payment on the land for twenty years will be $379.84 and his half- 
yearly payment on the improvements for a similar period will be 
$32.40, making the total payment each year $824.48. 2 


No state in the Union grows commercially so large a variety of 
crops as does California. Every domestic animal raised elsewhere in 
this country has been developed to great perfection also in this state. 
This great choice of crops and of breeds of animals often leads the 
new settler into error. The correct choice of crops and animals under 
the great variety of climatic conditions, together with the differences 
in transportation and marketing, require careful inquiry. Few state- 
ments can be made in this regard that do not have so many exceptions 
as to make them almost valueless. Yet few things are of more im- 
portance than the right adaptation of crops and animals to their 
environment. Or to put it in another way, if a man desires to raise 
a certain crop or class or crops, or a certain kind or breed of animals, 
nothing can be more important than that he should select land suited 
in area and naturally adapted to the particular line of farming he 
desires to follow. 

However, this general statement may be hazarded now: Covering 
a period of years the products sold from a California farm should 
bring more than 5 cents a pound or else should contain a high per- 
centage of water. Illustrations of products selling for more than 
5 cents per pound are dried fruits, horses, beef, mutton, pork, butter, 
cheese, poultry, eggs, wool, cotton, sugar, nuts, vegetables, and flower 
seeds. Examples of products containing high percentages of water 
are milk, fresh fruits, sugar beets, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, and a 
great variety of vegetables not mentioned. 

There are certain exceptions to the above general statement. 
While there is an unusual demand in Europe, wheat may be a profit- 
able crop. Doubtless some of this staple product will enter into the 
farm scheme on certain California farms. Beans, on account of their 
ability to supply themselves with nitrogen and even increase the nitro- 
gen content of the soil for other crops, are another possible exception. 
It is highly probable, however, that if the price goes below 5 cents the 
production of even this important crop will be greatly restricted. It 
may also be doubted whether there are many areas in California where 
a farmer would find it wise to make beans a specialty if beans were 

2 For information regarding State Colony lands address State Land Settlement 
Board, University of California, Berkeley, Calif. 

to sell below 5 cents a pound through a series of years. This comment 
is, of course, made for the guidance of the new settler. It has no 
necessary significance to the man who has long made this crop his 
specialty. In the long run, the man who can arrange his farming to 
avoid selling low-priced products, unless they contain high percentages 
of water, will be the one who will longest maintain the fertility of the 
soil and will have the least marketing difficulties. 

Where crops like potatoes, onions, fresh fruits, and melons are not 
to be sold in local markets, care must be taken to determine not only 
the adaptability of a given soil and climate but whether or not other 
areas equally suitable possess a lower freight rate to competing mar- 
kets. Thus there are several areas in northern California especially 
adapted to raising fine potatoes which can not compete with other 
areas nearer the city in supplying the San Francisco market because 
of the cost of transportation. On the other hand, the development 
of the system of carload shipments to eastern markets may some day 
make potato growing in such regions especially attractive. 

There are certain parts of California, well adapted to dairying, 
where the production of cheese has been developed in place of butter 
or market milk production because of the conditions surrounding 
transportation. Of course, this does not mean that a farmer should 
not raise low-priced products, such as hay and grain, but that so far 
as practicable he should manage to convert them into animal products 
which will sell for higher prices per pound. 


A good deal has been accomplished in determining the best location 
in California for different types of farming through the experience 
of one or two generations of farmers. Certain locations have not yet 
been developed for lack of suitable transportation, inability to secure 
water for irrigation, or because the land has been held in uneconomic 
units. In general, however, one will do well to be guided by the 
present developments of the several farming industries. In any case, 
the best developed regions for any particular industry should be 
visited and carefully studied, if for no other reason than to under- 
stand the kind of competition one must meet when he places his 
products upon the market. 

Farming is a competitive business. It is necessary, therefore, to 
determine not only whether a given crop can be grown in a particular 
location but to determine whether conditions are so much more favor- 
able elsewhere as to make the attempt at competition inadvisable. 
For example, let it be assumed that a tract of land has been demon- 


strated to yield under usual conditions 200 pounds of cotton per acre, 
which may happen at existing prices to be profitable. It will, never- 
theless, not be safe to purchase such land for the production of cotton 
if the average yield of cotton of the same grade is 300 pounds per 
acre. If, however, a tract will grow under normal conditions 400 
pounds of cotton it may be a good investment, although growing cotton 
on average soil may not be profitable. It is also clear that land which 
will raise 400 pounds per acre is worth more than twice as much for 
cotton production as land that will produce 200 pounds. 

It is partly because of such variations in production that wide 
differences in land values occur. There is, therefore, always danger 
that the purchaser may pay a price which would be proper for land 
that normally produces five tons of alfalfa per acre when the normal 
production of the particular tract under consideration is only three 
tons per acre. Exercise of the proper judgment at this point is one 
of the most important, if not the most important factor to success in 
any farming enterprise. 

Investment is not altogether dependent upon geographical location 
or soil type. For example, two orchards or vineyards in the same 
neighborhood and upon the same soil type may be so managed that 
one becomes worth several times what the other will bring. A case 
in point is where two orange groves were developed side by side. 
One orchard recently sold for $3000 per acre, while the trees are being 
removed from the other because the orchard could not be sold for 
$500 per acre. There are cases, however, where the purchase and 
renovation of an old orchard have been profitable investments. In 
other words, the influence of fertilization and intelligent management 
is to be considered in connection with the selection of a particular 
tract of land. 


There is a general agreement that the best minimum farm unit 
should furnish work for at least two men since there are some oper- 
ations on almost every farm that can be done to best advantage only by 
two or more persons working together. From the standpoint of the 
owner of the land there are additional reasons for finding one or more 
employees desirable. A farmer should always seek to make his own 
labor more productive than that of a farm laborer. There always has 
been, and doubtless there always will be, men whose capacities do 
not enable them at the moment to command more than the daily 
wage. By combining their employment, under his direction, with 
that of his own, he may cause them to earn as much for him as he 


himself earns. He thus receives as surplus income the difference 
between his own earning and that which he must pay them. 

Profits often consist in causing others to earn for one through one 's 
superior management of their services, more than they could earn 
without such direction. If one does not make his profit by that 
means it may be doubted whether he is entitled to it. If this point 
of view be accepted, it becomes apparent that the organization of 
labor round a farming enterprise becomes an important, if not the 
important factor. 

One of the first questions to consider is what wages do men earn 
customarily when they work at different kinds of farm work. For 
example, if it is found customary, therefore practicable, to pay a man 
$4 per day to cultivate land with a tractor, and it is only customary 
to pay $2 per day to do it with a hoe, it must be fairly obvious that 
the farmer will only earn $2 per day when he uses a hoe but may earn 
$4 when he operates a tractor. It is also fairly obvious that if he is 
to profit by supervising men who are using a hoe, he must have an 
enterprise that employs enough of them to make it worth while. 

If experience shows that when milking is done by machine, the 
operator is customarily paid a larger wage than ordinary milkers, 
then it would be advantageous to have a milking machine, provided 
the farmer has been doing his own milking, because he would thereby 
himself receive a higher wage. It would be advantageous also in 
case of large herds, where say two machine operators may do the work 
of three hand milkers. To put it more broadly, the farmer should so 
organize his farm, especially if he does a considerable part of the 
work himself, as to have that kind of labor which is normally best paid. 


There are few regions where agriculture has become specialized 
to the same degree as in California. When custom obtains even though 
it may appear unwise, it is well to recognize that probably there are 
good reasons for it. The fundamental reason for crop specialization 
in California is the large variety in crop adaptation which exists here. 
It is probably also due to the fact that the farther a product is from 
market the more apt its production is to become a specialized industry. 

In a certain section, land used to grow potatoes rents for $20 to 
$25 per acre, while when rented for barley it brings from $7 to $10 
per acre. Under these conditions the owner of the land strives to 
keep it in potatoes as lang as such rentals maintain. The difficulty 
is that in the course of time the increase in insect enemies and fungus 
diseases makes the continuous production of potatoes unsatisfactory 


both in quantity and quality. So long, however, as there are available 
sufficient quantities of new land to produce potatoes, diversification 
will not become necessary since the older cultivated areas will abandon 
potatoes for other crops. 

Certain soils are nearly valueless for growing wheat or barley, 
but may be highly capitalized when planted under irrigation to certain 
fruits, such as oranges, lemons, peaches and olives. The tendency is 
very great, therefore, to put all such land into fruit because of its 
higher possible valuation. The amount of money thus made through 
the sale of land has been much greater than that by any other method. 

Nevertheless, there are areas now planted almost solidly to fruit 
which would in the long run bring a much more satisfactory living if 
one-third only had been planted to fruit, while the other two-thirds 
had been put into other crops. This would have been especially true 
if the crops so raised had been fed to animals so that manure was 
available for keeping up the fertility of the soil. Among the addi- 
tional advantages of this mixed farming are a more uniform use of 
labor and a less variable income, the latter owing to the fact that 
production and prices do not vary equally with the different crops 
during a given year. 

"Wherever the adaptation of climate and soil are satisfactory, the 
fruit specialist may improve his labor conditions and stabilize his 
income by planting two or more kinds of fruits. 


If a person owns a ranch that is profitable he is not generally 
anxious to sell it. If a man owns a herd of cows and desires to sell 
some of them he will, if he is a good business man, seek to sell his 
poorest cows. Lands follow the same economic law. The ranches that 
come upon the market are apt to be those that have for some economic 
cause become unprofitable. This may, of course, be due to several 
reasons. It may be that it is not possible to compete with other lands 
of greater fertility. It may be that the growth of cities and the 
development of transportation have made it no longer capable of 
competing with other areas. It may be due to mismanagement. It 
may be that changing conditions have made the area too large and 
that it needs subdivision. However, thoroughly desirable areas may 
be placed upon the market for various reasons, as through the settling 
of estates. Frequently splendid areas are brought into the market 
through the development of new water supplies. 

It is characteristic of California conditions that its soils are what 
is called "spotted." There may be very poor areas surrounded by 


land of great fertility. Men who make it a business to buy and sub- 
divide land will find these less fertile areas offered for sale at much 
less than the ordinary run of land. For this reason, such areas are 
often chosen for subdivision. Doubtless the men who purchase these 
tracts for subdivision are not infrequently mistaken as to their real 
value, or at least do not appreciate the actual difference in produc- 
tivity between contiguous lands of different qualities. At any rate, 
what the new settler should realize is that because he sometimes finds 
undesirable properties offered to him, it does not follow that fertile 
soils do not exist in California. Such soil may exist on the other side 
of the fence. California is a state of wonderful fertility and almost 
unthinkable agricultural possibilities, of which anyone who wishes 
may convince himself by proper investigations. The purpose of this 
circular, however, is not to dwell upon the great opportunities of the 
state, but to point out to the prospective settler the difficulties to be 
avoided, to the end that his success may be made more certain. 


The area on which certain crops can be grown in this state is 
frequently determined by the water supply or the possibility of 
developing such supply. At least seven and possibly eight of the 
principal crops mentioned on page 36 of this circular are dependent 
on irrigation, except perhaps, when grown in some of the localities 
of the state more favored, so far as precipitation is concerned. The 
settler should look carefully into everything that pertains to the extent, 
reliability, permanency, and cost of an irrigation water supply for 
his farm, as outlined in a subsequent article, page 33. 

Recently the Citrus Experiment Station has examined about one 
thousand sources of irrigation supplies. The analyses of these waters 
show a great variation in the percentages of soluble, salts which they 
contain. In a considerable number of cases, the water has been found 
to carry almost a ton of alkali and in extreme cases more than two 
tons to each acre of land irrigated during one season. Supplies from 
wells are more likely to be dangerous than from streams or storage 

In any case, the kind or percentage of salt should be determined 
in waters used for irrigation. Soils which are naturally porous and 
well drained may tolerate a considerable application of soluble salt 
for some years, but there is ultimate danger to almost any soil in 
the use of such irrigation water. Other soils which are not under- 
drained and already contain a quantity of alkali, may be totally 
unfitted for crop production after a few years. 



Soils should have good depth and good drainage in areas of limited 
rainfall. The need of drainage is hard to appreciate or even determine 
before the land is irrigated. One reason why analysis of the soil is 
of so little value in ordinary practice is that the depth of the soil and 
the position and character of the subsoil usually affect the produc- 
tivity of virgin soil to a greater extent than existing variations in 
plant food. Soils in arid climates are more likely than humid soils 
to develop layers of hardpan. These layers are very irregularly laid 
down. Hence, a careful examination is required to determine the 
extent and possible injury on a given piece of land. The United States 
Bureau of Soils has, on account of these structural differences, adopted 
the rule of examining a profile of the soil to the depth of six feet in 
western United States, while elsewhere three feet has been deemed 


Without natural or artificial drainage, alkali is the inevitable 
consequence of irrigation wherever the evaporation from the soil is 
greater than the rainfall. "Irrigation without proper provision for 
drainage has, in the past, in very many cases, been the cause of 
abandonment of lands once abundantly fruitful." 3 

Without stopping to go into the matter exhaustively, it may be said 
in general, that those lands most likely to be brought under irrigation 
are the areas which usually lack good natural drainage. In humid 
sections the water table may be within three or even two feet of the 
surface without injurious results. In arid sections the water table 
should be not nearer than five feet from the surface, while a greater 
depth is desirable. This is due to the deeper feeding area of the roots 
of plants in arid climates as well as greater danger from alkali where 
the water table is near the surface. No prediction can be made as 
to the length of time which will elapse before alkali will appear 
under irrigation. There are areas that have been irrigated for more 
than twenty-five years which do not yet show the need of under- 
drainage. The purpose of this paragraph is merely to warn pur- 
chasers of irrigated land that they may be required to add to the 
purchase price the cost of tile drainage. A complete system of tile 
drainage may cost over sixty dollars per acre, while it is possible that 

3 See article by Dr. Hilgard, entitled " Alkali Lands — Irrigation and Drainage 
in Their Mutual Relation," in the Report of the California Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station for the year 1890. 


sufficient drainage may be afforded in other cases at a cost not to 
exceed twenty-five dollars per acre. 

Opportunities exist today for the purchase and reclamation by 
tile drainage of lands that have "gone bad" under irrigation. The 
intending purchaser should be cautioned, however, to try to reclaim 
only lands which are known to have been fertile. Lands which have 
never been known to have grown profitable crops may well be avoided 
in the present state of our knowledge. 


The goodness or badness of land is largely in relation to the crop 
it is intended to grow. Thus there are soils excellently adapted to 
olives which will return poor yields of wheat or barley. There are 
vast areas in California well adapted to grains and alfalfa, on which 
potatoes cannot be grown economically because of the character of 
the soil, and on which oranges and lemons cannot be grown on account 
of the danger of frost. Certain lands which are adapted to raising 
olives are not worth, and in the past, have not been valued at more 
than five dollars per acre for other types of farming, but are now 
valued at and may be worth one hundred dollars per acre for olives. 
The fact that lands are valued at much higher prices when adapted 
to oranges, lemons, or alfalfa than when adapted to grains has led 
to the placing upon the market of a great deal of land for crops to 
which it is not adapted. The land is good enough when used for 
the purpose to which it is adapted, but it is bad when an attempt is 
made to use it for some other purpose. Certain areas may be very 
good land when purchased at five dollars per acre for grazing purposes 
and equally bad land when purchased at fifty dollars per acre for 
alfalfa, or five hundred dollars per acre for oranges. Yet there are 
lands that are good when purchased at five hundred dollars for oranges 
and others that are good when purchased at fifty dollars for alfalfa. 
The sale of land at prices which its adaptability does not justify, has 
caused greater losses and greater misery than any other thing con- 
nected with land settlement. 

The College of Agriculture has definite information concerning types of soil 
and their adaptation for a portion of the state. For such portions as are known 
only statements concerning crop adaptations for the type in general can be 
furnished. No assurance of economic returns can be made. Persons wishing 
information with reference to any tract should state specifically the range, town- 
ship, number of section and the quarter section to which reference is made. 
This information is not for the purpose of passing upon the value of the par- 
ticular tract but for the purpose of determining to what soil type the tract 



A person buying farm land in California seldom deals with the 
owner. This is especially true where a large tract is subdivided and 
sold to settlers. The owner of such a tract ordinarily places his 
holdings in the hands of a real-estate firm, which, of course, handles 
the sale on commission. But even the members of the real-estate firm 
seldom, in the case of these large holdings, make the sale in person. 
The real-state firm employs agents of a more or less itinerant char- 
acter who make the actual sales. Under the present system, the agent 
with whom the purchaser deals is not infrequently an irresponsible 
party and cannot be found later to substantiate the statements made. 
It is therefore absolutely necessary for the purchaser to act only on 
evidence confirmed from other sources, to sign no contracts that he 
does not fully understand and cannot fully verify, and to be 
absolutely certain his titles to the land and to the water rights are 

Just as elsewhere in the United States, there are persons, firms, 
or corporations which make it their business to abstract titles. In 
California, such a person or agency is not usually called an abstractor 
of titles but a searcher of records. On smaller transactions, more- 
over, it is not customary to insist upon an abstract of title, but to 
secure in place of it a certificate of title, which is in effect a statement 
by the person, firm, or corporation that it has examined the title and 
certifies that it is valid, or if the title is not clear states in what way 
the title is clouded. In some of the larger towns may be found an 
office, perhaps next door to the bank, over which is the sign "Title 
Bureau." This means that the searcher of records has qualified 
under the state law to issue for an additional fee a policy of title 
insurance. While the searcher of records is not a public officer or the 
title bureau a public agency, they constitute at present the accepted 
method of securing advice concerning land titles. Under existing 
conditions, the new settler will do well to secure title insurance before 
purchasing land. 


Probably nothing can make a man keen in a horse trade save 
experience. No law can furnish a man with judgment. The United 
States and the state government are endeavoring to furnish informa- 
tion on which men may base sound judgment if they are level-headed 
and already have some knowledge of farming. It is, of course, im- 


portant to "help the investor as much as possible through supplying 
accurate data, but the buyers must assume some of the responsibility 
when they buy without attempting to inform themselves." Persons 
with no knowledge of farming are advised not to purchase farm lands 
in California until some months of experience have brought them 
into actual contact with conditions. 

It will be found of special advantage for the settler, whether he 
desires to purchase or rent, to secure employment in the location 
and with the type of farming to which he considers himself best 
adapted or most interested. The importance of this probationary 
period is due to the fact that the climatic conditions and the methods 
often differ essentially from those in other places. A season of such 
apprenticeship and experience may save disappointment and prevent 
failure in whole or in part. 

Soil surveys of a large part of California have been made by the 
United States Bureau of Soils in cooperation with the California 
Agricultural Experiment Station. These soil surveys are published 
with a map showing the location and extent of the soils occuring 
within the area and a report giving an accurate and authoritative 
description of the various types of soil, their specific character, topo- 
graphic position, drainage and other features, together with a dis- 
cussion of their present utilization and their adaptation to different 
crops. These surveys are distributed free and can be obtained from 
the Senators or Representatives in Congress or from the Division of 
Soil Technology, University of California at Berkeley. If the surveys 
are out of print, they can be consulted in most of the public libraries 
where they are listed under the "Field Operations of the Bureau of 
Soils." The map (fig. 1) shows the area of the state covered to the 
end of 1918. The appended lists show the surveys that have been 
issued and their status as out of print, available, or in preparation. 

In addition to the soil surveys, the Forest Service has made a 
study of all the lands within the National Forests that might be more 
valuable for agriculture than for forestry, and lands so designated 
have been set aside for elimination from the forests and are being 
thrown open to entry under the homestead laws. Information regard- 
ing these lands can be obtained from the Forest Service at Washing- 
ton, D. C, or from the District office at 114 Sansome street, San Fran- 
cisco. Less than 2 per cent of the National Forest lands are of possible 
agricultural value. 


Soil Surveys Out of Print Except in Bound Volumes, which can be 
Consulted in Public Libraries 

Bakersfield Area 1904 

Butte Valley Area 1907 

Colusa Area 1907 

Fresno Area 1900 

Fresno Area 1912 

Hanford Area 1901 

Imperial Area 1901 

Imperial Area 1903 

Indio Area 1903 

Klamath Reclamation Area 1908 

Livermore Valley Area 1910 

Los Angeles Area 1903 

Lower Salinas Valley Area 1901 

Madera Area 1910 

Marysville Area 1909 

Modesto-Turlock Area 


Pajaro Valley Area 


Porterville Area 


Redding- Area 


Red Bluff Area 


Sacramento Area 


Sacramento Valley Recon. Area 


San Bernardino Area 


San Gabriel Area 


San Jose Area 


Santa Ana Area 


Stockton Area 


Ventura Area 


Woodland Area 


Yuma Area 


Healdsburg Area 1915 

Honey Lake Area 1915 

Lower San Joaquin Recon 1915 

Merced Area 1914 

Pasadena Area 1915 

Riverside Area 1915 

Surveys Available in Pamphlet Form 

San Fernando Area 1915 

San Francisco Bay Recon. 

Area 1914 

San Diego Reconnaissance 

Area 1915 

Ukiah Area 1914 

Surveys Completed but not yet Published 

Anaheim Area 1916 

El Centro Area 1918 

Grass Valley Area 1918 

Los Angeles Area 1916 

Middle San Joaquin Recon 1916 

Santa Maria Area 1916 

Southern Cal. Recon. Area 1917 

Upper San Joaquin Recon. 

Area 1917 

Ventura Area 1917 

Willits Area 1918 


"While it is possible to state some of the general problems that will 
arise in connection with the purchase, organization, and operation of 
a farm, there will always be many more strictly local problems which 
can only be settled by personal contact. It is the policy of the fed- 
eral government in connection with the agricultural colleges of the 
respective states to maintain one or more representatives in each of 
the agricultural counties of the United States. 

There are one or more such representatives in each of thirty-five 
counties in California. In 1910, 85 per cent of all the farmers of 
California lived in these counties. These representatives in California 
are known as farm advisors, or assistant farm advisors, as the case may 


be. Since their salaries are paid wholly from federal and state appro* 
priations, their information and advice is as unbiased as it is possible 
to secure in human beings. Under the same law, women home demon- 
strators are maintained in some counties. These agencies are at the 
service of anyone who desires to create wealth out of the soil or to 
make a home on the land, without any charge or obligation of any sort. 

In addition to their own knowledge and experience, the farm 
advisors may call upon the staff of the Department of Agriculture, 
University of California, or the United States Department of Agri- 
culture, whenever a new problem arises. They also become intimately 
acquainted with the best farmers, and hence with the best farming 
practices, of their particular counties. They can, for example, tell the 
new settler who are the successful wheat and potato growers, the 
leading almond and peach growers, the largest hog and cattle raisers, 
or the best dairymen. 

No man who intends to farm or is farming should fail to see for 
himself the best farming operations and talk with the men who have 
been most successful in the line of farming he follows or expects to 
follow. Anyone entering upon the land or operating a farm may 
obtain first-hand knowledge of his business, since there are agencies 
in the state and in many of the important agricultural counties of the 
state which will either give to him the existing knowledge which is 
essential to his business, or explain to him where such knowledge may 
be obtained. In addition to the farm advisors there are the county 
horticultural commissioners, the county livestock inspectors, and the 
county libraries which keep on hand a supply of agricultural books 
to loan to farmers free of charge. The state provides correspondence 
courses in agriculture, and short courses for beginners and experienced 
farmers, together with the more extended courses in agriculture for 
their sons and daughters. Whether he has the energy and patience 
to acquire the necessary information rests with the individual. 

No one who comes to California to locate upon the Iwid needy 
therefore, go without reasonable authoritative and accurate knowl- 
edge, if he consults the various sources of information which have 
been mentioned and which are ready ivithout a charge to serve the 
prospective settler. 


Every family should keep an expense account whether it lives in 

the country or in the city. Probably farming enterprises with an 

investment of less than $50,000 cannot afford to employ a bookkeeper. 

Hence, on most farms if accounts are kept, they must be kept by 





- Lesend — 

£«il Surveys -made 
5/ nee 1913 

'Soil $utvey$~7vixcle j>Mort 
1913 not include4 in more 
recent surveys 

Nnkion*.! Forests - covered by 
forest littd cl&ssiftcaitioh 

Fig. 1. — Soil surveys of a large part of California have been made by the 
United States Bureau of Soils in cooperation with the California Agricultural 
Experiment Station. 


some member of the family. Since both family and farm accounts 
should be kept by every farm family, in many instances it will be 
found that they can be most conveniently and efficiently kept by the 
wife or daughter. To one who is not accustomed to it, it is all very 
confusing at first, but it is really surprising how in a little time it 
becomes almost second nature to perform this daily task and how 
little time it really takes when done regularly, as it must be to be 

The keeping of accounts is becoming an important question now 
that everyone must report to the collector of income taxes. Farmers 
need to know what their income is, first, in order to know whether 
their supposed income is a real income or only on apparent one. 
Without proposing any plan for the California farmer the following 
English custom of obtaining their yearly balance is suggestive : 

It is an English custom for every tenant farmer to take an inven- 
tory on March 25, which is the close of the British farmer's fiscal year. 
This inventory is always made by some outside, supposedly disinter- 
ested, party. In making the appraisement allowance is made for the 
manure placed upon the land, and for all work done on the land prior 
to March 25, that affects succeeding crops. It includes an allowance 
for grass lands recently seeded. One-third the value of all protein 
foods, such as cottonseed meal, fed during the year is carried into the 
next year's inventory. Three dollars per ton is carried forward for 
cereals fed during the year. 

There is no thought of proposing this particular plan to the Cali- 
fornia farmer, but it is obvious that some satisfactory plan must be 
worked out before a farmer can determine the real income from a 
single year's operations. A simple plan of keeping farm accounts 
has been worked out and the necessary books are in the hands of the 
farm advisors in the several counties. The farm advisor or his assist- 
ant will help farmers to open these simple records correctly, and will 
help them close their books at the end of the year, so that they may at 
least know what their apparent incomes have been, and may get some 
idea of their real incomes. 


Every farmer should get in touch with the marketing organizations 
which handle his products in his particular locality. The farmers of 
California have the deserved reputation of being the most cooperative 
in spirit of those of any section in the United States. It is not remark- 
able, therefore, that California has the largest number of successful 
farmers' organizations of any state in the Union. 


The new settler should join one or more of these organizations, 
as the character of his business may indicate, not alone because of the 
increased price he may obtain for his product, but because it puts him 
into direct contact with successful men of his particular industry. In 
many cases the improved methods that he is thereby caused to adopt 
are of more importance than the increase of price per unit which he 
obtains for his crop. 4 

It goes without saying that there may be both desirable and 
undesirable cooperative organizations. Neither is it possible for any- 
one to say precisely whether a proposed organization will work out 
satisfactorily. There are, however, three general factors involved : 

1. The type of industry, including the character of the demand 

for the product. 

2. The type of organization, whether or not it is adapted to the 

particular industry. One type of organization may be 
satisfactory for one industry and not satisfactory to another. 

3. The ability, integrity and motives of the men conducting the 


A successful marketing organization should accomplish one or 
more of the following things : 

1. Produce standardized goods. 

2. Provide for selling in more than one market. 

3. Provide organization and systematic distribution of products 

among successful markets. 

4. Provide methods of attracting customers to California products. 

5. Bring about better transportation facilities. 

6. Accomplish the purchase of necessary supplies to better advan- 


The type of organization which will accomplish the best results, as 
heretofore indicated, is rather more debatable. There are certain 
points which can only be determined by experience. However, there 
is a certain consensus of opinion on the following: 

1. Cooperative selling organizations generally succeed best which 
deal in only one product or in closely related products. 
Either lemons and oranges, or wheat, barley and oats, or 
potatoes and onions may be handled successfully by one 
selling organization, while strawberries and lemons, or 
potatoes and wheat have not generally been handled suc- 
cessfully by the same agency. 

4 The Bureau of Markets issues daily bulletins giving shipments, receipts and 
prices of crops, such as beans, onions, potatoes, and fruits. 


2. Most farmers' organizations succeed best in which every person 
belonging to the organization has an equal voice. In other 
words, an organization is considered truly cooperative 
when each member has one vote, as distinguished from a 
corporation where each man has a number of votes in pro- 
portion to the capital stock he has invested. 
The comments under this paragraph on marketing are not in- 
tended as a complete or comprehensive discussion on the subject of 
cooperation, but are merely suggestions for the guidance of the new 


Owing to its topography, prevailing winds, and proximity to the 
ocean, California is subject to a very wide variation of rainfall, tem- 
perature, and atmospheric humidity, which produce phases of climate 
characteristic of the several large regions into which the state may be 

To those coming from states east of the Mississippi Valley two 
general features of the climate of California will be noticeable: 
First, the season of greatest rainfall is in the winter months; the 
months of June, July and August being almost devoid of rainfall. 
Second, owing to local topography, the lines of equal temperature run 
for the most part north and south, rather than east and west, as in 
other parts of the country. 

So far as climate in its bearing on crop production is concerned, 
the state may be divided into five regions, but even in these divisions 
there will be some climatic features common to all. 

The map on the last page indicates divisions of the state according 
to the prevalence of similar climatic conditions which roughly deter- 
mine agricultural adaptations, viz : 

1. Northwest Coast Region. 

2. Central Coast Region. 

3. Southern Coast Region. 

4. Interior Valley Region. 

5. Mountain and Plateau Region. 

The Northwest Coast Region. — This section is mountainous, being 
covered principally by the Coast Range. The valleys are relatively 
small and irregular. The important climatic features of this section 
are the moderate temperatures throughout the year, the high annual 
rainfall, and the prevalence of high winds and fogs along the coast. 

s By E. J. Wickson, Professor of Horticulture, Emeritus. 


At Eureka in Humboldt County the highest temperature recorded 
is 85.2 (June 6, 1903), while the lowest is 20 (January 4, 1888). In 
most portions of this section the rainfall varies from 40 to 100 inches. 
This variation, however, is mainly due to elevation. It should be 
noted that from year to year the rainfall may vary in any one place 
more than 100 per cent, and as stated above, it is always smallest in 
July and August. 

This section most nearly resembles the east-north central and 
middle Atlantic states in its agricultural operations and possibilities. 
It is eminently suited for the production of forage grasses and clover, 
and to dairying, and has also demonstrated success with several fruits 
in proper soils and exposures. 

The Central Coast Region. — This region includes coast slopes, 
many small valleys, a few of considerable size, and a large area of 
foothills and mountains west of the high ridge of the Coast Range, 
which at several points attains an elevation of about 4000 feet. 
Among the valleys are those of the San Francisco Bay district — the 
pioneer regions of commercial crop-growing and which now constitute 
one of the largest highly developed and densely populated agricultural 
districts of the state. Central in this district lies the City and County 
of San Francisco, which enjoys the unique distinction of having pro- 
duced the tallest sky-scrapers and the broadest cabbage fields in the 
state. North of San Francisco are the coast valleys which are great 
producers of dairy and poultry products, fruits and field crops, and 
south of San Francisco are the bay-shore valleys long noted for truck 
crops, fruits — the prunes of Santa Clara and the apples of Pajaro 
valleys — and the hay, grain, and sugar beets of Salinas and Santa 
Maria valleys, while adjacent hill lands are largely used for grazing 
and, on the coast side, for the dairy industry. 

The Central Coast Region is very diversified in topography, inter- 
mediate in temperatures and rainfall between its neighboring coast 
districts north and south, and it has a range of products wide as the 
state itself, except that citrus fruits are not commercially produced, 
although grown by amateurs at favoring elevations and exposures. 

The Southern Coast Region. — This region extends from the point 
where the coast takes a sharp eastward turn and proceeds southward 
to the southern boundary of the state. Its width is determined by the 
distance of the high ridge of the Coast Range from the ocean — narrow 
at the west, increasing toward the central part, where the San Gabriel 
and Santa Ana valleys extending northerly and easterly to the foot of 
Mt. San Bernardino, and then narrowing again to its southern limit 


just below San Diego Bay. Owing to its environment and exposure, 
as well as its latitude, this region has more heat than the more 
northerly coast regions, though in its extensions away from the ocean 
it has had in some places and at long intervals a brief drop in tempera- 
ture to a degree as low as other valleys with similar elevations. It is 
on the whole, however, most equable in its temperatures and by this 
widely known characteristic has attracted settlement and development 
in some respects beyond other districts of the state. The products of 
the district are large and various, including most of the present pro- 
duction of citrus fruits and walnuts, most of the beans, much of the 
sugar beets and truck crops for overland shipment, and dairy, poultry, 
hay, grain, and orchard fruits for a part of its local consumption. It 
is for the most part an irrigated district, though some crops are 
successfully made along the coast by rainfall. 

The Interior Valleys Region. — This region extends from the north 
end of the Sacramento Valley southward through the length of the 
San Joaquin Valley to the Tehachapi Mountains, which form its 
southern boundary. This pair of connected valleys constitute what 
is properly called l ' The Great Valley of California, ' ' about 400 miles 
long and from 40 to 60 miles wide. It contains a larger body of pro- 
ductive land than any other subdivision of the state. Central on the 
west side of the Great Valley are the deltas of the two great rivers 
whose names designate their respective valleys. The break in the 
Coast Range which gives outlet to their waters to the Bay of San 
Francisco, also admits an interior extension of coast influences which 
modify climatic conditions over these deltas and adjacent lands, as is 
indicated by the circular intrusion of Division 2 into Divison 4 as 
shown on the map. This circular area is somewhat different in climatic 
characters, however, from that of either of the divisions to which it is 
related, for it is a blending of the two. 

In the extreme southeast part of the state is another area marked 
Division 4 which is thus connected with the Great Valley because it 
has closer resemblance thereto, both in characters and products, than 
to any other region of the state. It comprises the Imperial Valley and 
other valleys adjacent to the Colorado River. It differs from the 
Great Valley in having a higher temperature both in summer and 
winter and in its rainfall, which is practically negligible, as all 
cropping is conditioned upon irrigation. 

The Great Valley differs from the coast regions west of it in having 
a lower winter temperature, because its dominating environment is 
the snow-clad Sierra on its east side, while the dominating environ- 


ment of the coast is the ocean. This contrast is more marked through 
the central and southward stretches of the Great Valley. Another 
contrast is found in summer temperatures which may average more 
than twenty degrees higher on the east than on the west side of the 
Coast Range, because the ocean then has a cooling effect upon the 
regions open to its influence. 

In rainfall the Great Valley has such marked differences that 
generalization is impossible. Roughly speaking, the Sacramento Val- 
ley may be said to have from 20 to 40 inches of rainfall in different 
years, while the San Joaquin has from 4 to 16. This variation in 
rainfall is, however, overcome by irrigation which is practiced in the 
Great Valley over a greater acreage of land than in any other region 
of the state. The products include all grown anywhere in the state. 

The Mountain and Plateau Region. — It has been found by obser- 
vation during many years that what are known as valley conditions 
prevail to an elevation of about fifteen hundred feet over the rolling 
region known as the "foothills" — which are the steps up to the high 
ranges. Above this elevation winter temperatures fall lower, rainfall 
increases, snow flurries begin, and thence upward mountain valleys 
and plateaux are found at different levels up to about six thousand 
feet, which is about the top of California's agricultural lands, and 
above four thousand feet such lands are used principally for summer 
pasturage. This mountain region has a winter like that of the eastern 
states with a great precipitation of rain and snow to cause great 
rivers to flow down the west side of the Sierra and give the state its 
invaluable and ample water supply for power and irrigation. In the 
valleys among the great snow mountains there are farming districts 
of considerable present production and great future promise. The 
most marked character of these high lands is the limitations placed 
upon cropping by the short growing season and the frequency of 
frosts during the spring and, at the higher elevations, even during the 
summer months. Therefore this division differs most markedly from 
other California regions and has closer resemblance to some of the 
interior states than to the coast and valley areas of our own state. 
In this region there is a modification of low temperatures from the 
north to the south, for the mountain region is more open to the 
influence of north and south latitude and is not so fully dominated 
by local topography and ocean influences, which give to the rest of 
the state its unique climatic characters. 



In the humid regions of the world, and especially in the humid 
region of the United States, practically nine-tenths of the soils are 
either of residual or of glacial origin. The glacial soils have been 
transported and deposited by ice, and while the glacial deposits may 
be very deep, the true soil is not deep. The subsoil is usually heavier 
than the surface, often clayey, and the practical feeding depth of 
roots is usually less than four feet. The residual soils are much more 

extensive than the glacial soils. 
They are formed by the destruction 
of rock masses, the disintegrated 
and decomposed fragments accumu- 
lating on the surface of the hard 
rock to form the soil mass. Resi- 
dual soils usually have a surface 
soil six or eight inches deep, resting 
on heavier material that grades to 
a clay at two or three feet in depth. 
At greater depths rock fragments 
are found in the clay and these 
grow more numerous until the mass 
is largely broken or ' ' rotten rock, ' ' 
and finally the solid rock mass is 
reached. (See fig. 2.) The total 
depth of the soil mass above the rock varies greatly, but usually is less 
than four feet. 

In the humi'd regions, the transported soils, other than those 
formed by glacial action, are of little extent. The flood plains and 
bench lands along the rivers and creeks are exceedingly productive, 
but their total area is small compared with the residual and glacial 





Fig. 2. — Section of a typical resi- 
dual soil showing gradation from 
soil through clay, rotten rock to 
solid rock. 


In California, as in all arid regions, the residual soils available 
for agriculture are of relatively limited extent, forming about 10 
per cent of the arable lands of the state. They are found on hill 
slopes and on mountain sides and their topographic position makes 
irrigation exceedingly difficult or impossible, while the shallow soil 
mass makes dry farming precarious. In the Coast Ranges and on the 
Sierra foothills are some successfully farmed residual soils, but their 
total area is relatively small. 

s By Charles F. Shaw, Professor of Soil Technology. 


By far the larger portion of the agricultural lands in the state are 
transported soils. For uncounted ages the winter rains have been 
washing the rock fragments from the mountain sides and carrying 
the material out to the valleys, spreading the mass out as broad 
sloping alluvial fans or as relatively flat valley floor. The accumu- 
lation of sediments in the valleys is often hundreds or even thousands 
of feet deep (fig. 3). 

Soils formed in this way may be quite uniform to great depths 
or may be made up of successive layers of varying texture, sands, 
silts, gravels or clays. As the soils are laid down a little at a time, 
year after year, they have been acted upon by weathering agencies 
breaking up the particles and making the plant food quite available. 
Under the climatic conditions that exist, with the hot dry summers 
and the low rainfall in winter, the weathering action of air and 
water, the beneficial action of bacteria and the formation of humus 
in the soil, occur to considerable depths. Roots ordinarily penetrate 
to depths of six to eight feet below the surface. In studying the soil, 
it is necessary to consider at least a six-foot section, instead of the 
usual three-foot section of the humid regions. The climatic conditions 
of the region and the mode of formation of the soils, have brought 
about many features that are not common to the soils of a humid 
region. Owing to the deficiency of rain, the soils have never been 
subject to any great degree of leaching and most of the soluble 
materials have been left in the soil mass. 

These transported soils fall into two groups — the recent trans- 
ported soils and the old transported soils. The recent soils form about 
three-fifths of the arable lands of the state and represent the best and 
most desirable soils. The soil mass is usually quite deep, and uni- 
form in general character. Nearly two-thirds of these soils have 
excellent textures, ranging from sandy loams to clay loams. These 
soils are easy to work and take irrigation water readily, making them 
very desirable for almost any type of farming. About 10 per cent 
of these soils are of a sandy or gravelly nature, loose and open, and 
of a ' 'leachy" character. Because of the low rainfall and consequent 
lack of leaching, however, the sands are much more productive than 
are similar soils in a humid region. Properly handled they give very 
good yields, and because they are warm, "early" soils, they are 
especially adapted to special crops such as melons and sweet potatoes. 
Where these soils are too loose and open there is difficulty in irrigation, 
owing to excessive seepage. Properly farmed, these sandy soils prove 
very productive and desirable. 



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Fig. 5. — An adobe soil, on dry- 
ing, shrinks markedly and breaks 
into blocks, with wide cracks be- 


Less than 3 per cent of the recent transported soils are heavy 
in texture — clays and clay adobes. The term "adobe" does not indi- 
cate a specific kind of soil, but refers to the structure. There are 
clay adobe, clay loam adobe, and loam adobe, although the latter is 
very rare. The name is given to any soil which on drying shrinks 

markedly and breaks into blocks 
with wide cracks between. (See 
fig. 5.) An adobe structure is un- 
desirable because the soils dry out, 
not only from the surface but also 
from the sides of the wide cracks. 
In irrigating, the water must first 
fill the cracks and then slowly soak 
into the hard baked block. On wet- 
ting, the blocks swell up and close 
the cracks, which reopen again on 
drying. Considerable injury to 
plants may occur through the 
breaking of roots that cross the 
lines of these cracks and through 
the drying of many of the feeding 

The adobe soils are difficult to 
till and maintain in the proper 
state of granulation, but with good 
farming methods a good structure 
can be maintained. These soils are 
very rich, giving high yields of 
the crops that are adapted to such 
heavy soils, especially grains and 
grasses, and these yields make up, 
to a great extent, the handicap of 
their more difficult nature. 
The recent transported soils occupy level to sloping positions, and 
are readily put in condition for irrigation farming. They are pro- 
ductive and are desirable above all the other soils of the state. 

The old transported soils form about one-third of the arable soils 
of California. These soils occupy undulating or rolling topography 
with some hilly and broken areas. They have subsoils that are dis- 
tinctly heavier and more clayey than the surface soils, and over one- 
half of their area is underlaid by hardpans at depths of from two to 
four feet below the surface. 



Fig. 6. — A hardpan layer with 
loose soil material beneath it. 
Breaking up the hardpan will 
allow roots and water to enter the 
substratum of good soil. 






In most cases the material beneath the hard pan is loose soil very 
similar to that above the hardpan (fig. 6), and if the pan is broken 
by dynamite or other means, irrigation waters and plant roots may 
readily work down into the underlying soil mass. In snch cases the 
hardpan is not a serious factor as it ordinarily re-cements very slowly. 
In some cases the hardpan is underlaid by a compact, semi-cemented 
layer of soil, sand, and gravel that 
is practically impenetrable to water 
or to plant roots. (See fig. 7.) 
With such soils, dynamiting the 
hardpan is of little or no value as 
there is no good soil beneath for 
the roots to penetrate and no oppor- 
tunity for drainage or aeration 
through the substratum. 

There is another class of hard- 
pan that occurs where variations in 
the soil-forming activities caused a 
layer of soil to be deposited, then 
a layer of material that cemented 
to a hardpan, then another layer 
of soil, another layer of hardpan, 
and so on. (Fig. 8.) These hard- 
pan layers are hard to handle, as 
blasting is not satisfactory unless 
each of the layers is broken. The 
hardpan layers do not, however, 
exist as continuous sheets because 
in the process of formation of the 
soil, portions were washed away, 
the space being filled with other 
soil materials. This, together with 
the fact that the hardpan is often 
cracked and sometimes rather soft, 
gives opportunity for irrigation 
water and plant roots to penetrate 
to considerable depths. 

Most of the old transported soils have medium textures, with about 
one-third of a heavy texture and with very few areas of coarse sandy 
nature. The soils are productive but root and water penetration is 
retarded by the heavy subsoils or by the handpans, and their uneven 
topography makes irrigation difficult and expensive. They give good 

Fig. 7. — Hardpan layer with 
compact material beneath. Break- 
ing the hardpan will be of little 
benefit because of the cemented 
nature of the substratum. 



mmm ''.'"C S0,L 


Fig. 8. — Soil with several layers of 
hardpan with soil between the layers. 


results with most of the crops of the state, and when their natural 
handicaps are overcome, they closely approach the recent soils in 
agricultural value. 

Alkali. — Wherever drainage conditions are poor and there is a 
larger amount of water passing from the surface by evaporation 
than passes down through the soil mass, there is the possibility of an 
accumulation of soluble material or "alkali" on the surface. The 
term ' ' alkali, ' ' as ordinarily used, includes any soluble inorganic salts 
present in sufficient quantity to be injurious to plants. The most 
common materials are sodium chloride or common salt, sodium sul- 
phate or Glaubers salt, and sodium carbonate or washing soda. This 
"alkali" is not necessarily brought into the soil from some other 
location. It is merely a result of a regrouping of the chemicals that 
existed in the original rock, and the concentration of these compounds 
in the surface soil because of excessive evaporation. 

If the soil has good natural drainage, any excess of water will 
percolate through the soil and will seep out to the country drainage 
channels, carrying with it in solution, small quantities of the soluble 
salts. In such cases, the waters evaporated from the surface cannot 
exceed the amount that passes down through the soil, and alkali 
accumulations cannot occur. 

If the natural drainage conditions are not good, artificial drainage 
will be necessary if the land is to be irrigated and farmed. In arid 
regions, the irrigation of poorly drained lands will produce conditions 
that will ultimately bring about the accumulation of injurious amounts 
of alkali. It is necessary to study the drainage conditions carefully, 
noting the character of the soil with respect to permeability and the 
penetration of water, the character of the substratum, the slope of 
the land and the possible outlet for drainage waters. The possibility 
of drainage waters seeping into the soil from higher lying lands should 
also be investigated. 

The soils of California taken as a whole are exceedingly pro- 
ductive. They may be compared to the rich bottom lands of the 
humid regions. The unfavorable conditions that may exist, such as 
hardpan, alkali, poor drainage, poor structure, etc., can be readily 
recognized. The presence of alkali can be determined by chemical 
tests or by noting the character of the vegetation and the condition 
of the surface soil. Drainage conditions, texture and structure, and 
the presence of hardpan can be determined by examining the soil, 
boring in it with a soil auger (fig. 4). The prospective settler should 
not be content with a single examination of the surface soil, but should 
bore frequently, examining the soil to a depth of at least six feet and 


carefully noting conditions, bearing in mind that plants that would in 
a humid region send their roots two or three feet into the soil, will 
here have a root penetration of six to twelve or more feet. 


As a general rule, irrigation is either a valuable aid to agriculture 
or a necessity throughout California, so that the settler should look 
carefully into everything that pertains to the extent, reliability, 
permanency, and cost of an irrigation water supply for his farm. 

Generally it is no longer possible in California to obtain indepen- 
dent individual water supplies for irrigation by direct diverson from 
streams. Usually, therefore, the settler must obtain his irrigation 
water (a) by residence within a municipal irrigation district, within 
which all landowners share equally in the district water supply, and 
all legally qualified voters have an equal voice in its control and 
management; (6) by purchasing stock in a mutual, non-profit-making 
water company having water available, in which case the water 
usually becomes appurtenant to the particular farm or the particular 
tract irrigated, and the water users immediately or ultimately (de- 
pending on how much land within the tract or project has been sold) 
control the water system; (c) by contracting with a commercial water 
compaany for water service, or (d) by means of a well and pumping 
plant developed or to be developed on the farm purchased. 

No water company can deliver more water than it controls and 
the company undertaking to furnish water, whether it be a mutual 
company or a commercial company organized for profit, should be 
required to give evidence that it has not "over-sold" its supply. Care 
should be taken to see that the water company "bought into" has in 
it the elements, including the financial resources, of regular and 
reliable water service. If the settler is counting on obtaining his 
irrigation supply from a well on his own farm he should take all 
possible means to satisfy himself that a well will yield a sufficient 
supply of good water at a depth from which he can afford to pump. 
Unless the quality of water obtained from wells is definitely known, 
examination of the water should be made for injuriors salts. Pub- 
lications of the Office of Experiment Stations and of the Irrigation 
Division, Bureau of Public Roads, of the United States Department 
of Agriculture, of the California State Department of Engineering, 
of the College of Agriculture, and of the Water Resources Branch of 
the United States Geological Survey will help in this regard. 

The cost of irrigation water should not be overlooked when figuring 

7 By Frank Adams of the Division of Irrigation Investigations. 


on the cost of developing a California farm. In irrigation districts 
this cost is paid in the form of taxes levied to meet the expenses of 
operation, maintenance, and betterments, and the interest, and ulti- 
mately also the principal, on outstanding bond issues. This may and 
usually does amount to several dollars per acre per year. In the case 
of mutual water companies, both the initial cost of the water stock 
(this is sometimes included in the cost of the land) and the annual 
assessments or water charges are involved. In some parts of southern 
California shares in the mutual companies cost at the rate of $125 to 
$250 per acre. The annual cost of water to the irrigator obviously 
includes both interest on this original investment and the annual 
maintenance and operation charge. Under commercial or public- 
utility water companies in the Great Valley the annual charge for 
water varies from 50 cents to about $2.25 per acre. Where water is 
paid for by the acre-foot (the quantity that will cover one acre one 
foot deep), $1.50 is not an unusual charge, although it may be more 
or less. Where it is paid for by the miner's inch (ll 1 /^ gallons per 
minute according to California statute ; nine gallons per minute — the 
original miner's inch in California — in southern California), it may 
cost a few cents or it may cost 50 or 60 cents per inch running con- 
tinuously for twenty-four hours, totalling from $5 to $20 or more per 
acre per year. Obviously only products yielding a high gross return 
will justify the larger of the charges mentioned. If an individual 
pumping plant is to be installed the usual initial cost of installation 
for a forty-acre alfalfa farm will vary from, say, $25 to $40 per acre 
where the lift does not exceed 50 feet. Circular No. 117 of this station 
gives information about the cost of installing small pumping plants. 
The amount of water needed for irrigation in California cannot 
be stated definitely in a few words because it varies so widely, chiefly 
according to soil and crop. When bargaining for certain quantities 
settlers should know whether the water is to be measured at the point 
of use or at the point it is taken from the canal, possibly one-half mile 
away, for transit losses from small earthen ditches are sometimes very 
large. For alfalfa in the central valley probably 2y 2 acre-feet per 
year is an average requirement; very heavy soils will not always 
absorb this amount and very light soils ordinarily receive more, the 
use of four acre-feet per year not being uncommon and sometimes 
apparently not unreasonable. Grain and cultivated field crops, such 
as sugar beets and potatoes, need less. Deciduous orchards mostly get 
along well with about one acre-foot, net, per year, where the land 
irrigated is not too steep and it is well cultivated ; citrus orchards 
sometimes receive as little as 0.8 acre-foot per year (say one miner's 


inch to eight acres irrigated), but more frequently are given twice 
that amount. Settlers should not accept less water than well-kept 
and successful farms in the neighborhood chosen are receiving. 

Finally, the settler without irrigation experience should not expect 
to learn the art of irrigation all at once. With land well prepared, 
however, practice will soon enable him to work with the necessary 
efficiency, but he must wisely choose both his methods of preparing 
land and his methods of applying water. Individual or community 
advice in these and other irrigation matters can be obtained free on 
application to the College of Agriculture. 


Proofs of this circular were submitted to W. Mayo Newhall, presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, well known in 
California for his large agricultural and other business interests, who 
suggests the following features as essential for settlers to consider: 

1. Selection of kind of farming industry according to former 
experience or preference. 

2. Selection of location best adapted to the kind of farming indus- 
try desired. 

3. Desirability of location and environment as suited to the habits 
and requirements of settler and members of his family. 

4. Do not be in a hurry. Spend some time in a location that seems 
desirable. Visit farms and get local information. 

5. Means of irrigation necessary for some forms of farming pur- 
suits and generally advantageous for all kinds. 

6. Lands improved or developed in whole or in part bring returns 
sooner than new or unimproved lands. 

7. Quality of land should be considered insteatd of quantity. 

8. It is advisable not to incur indebtedness which might not be 
reasonably liquidated in ten years, unless payments are amortized 
under a land settlement or similar plan. 

9. Farming industries which bring in quickest returns are : Vege- 
tables, berries for export or canning, hog raising, dairying, poultry 
and annual crops like grain and beans. 

10. If orchard industry is selected, interplanting of crops and 
some diversified farming are sources of revenue pending the orchard 
coming into bearing. 

11. Deciduous fruit trees, according to variety, come into bearing 
in paying production in from four to seven years. Citrus fruits in 
from five to eight years. 

12. Consult with the Agricultural Department of the University 
of California at Berkeley, California. 



Members of the staff have prepared articles on the growing of 
certain standard crops in California. The plan has been to give that 
information which an eastern man with an actual knowledge of farm- 
ing or fruit raising would most need to know. It is not intended as 
full information for a beginner. The following are points which each 
specialist had in mind while preparing the articles : 

Discuss the industry as it exists — not as it did exist in the past, nor as it 
may exist in the future. Assume the settler has decided to grow the crop. 

Say nothing of its importance except as an aid to finding proper location. 
State main objections to the crop as an industry. 

Regions. — Give important centers of industry. Name town or towns it would 
be wise to visit in order to see the industry to best advantage. Give best climatic 
and soil conditions, especially things to avoid. 

Methods. — State the methods that are actually in vogue, not merely methods 
that are recommended as ideal or desirable. 

Call particular attention to methods with which strangers will most likely be 

Tell things to be guarded against. 

Size of farms growing this crop. 

Mention location of lands yet available for development. 

Give ordinary commercial value of developed and undeveloped lands. 

State methods of renting and give rental values. 

Give kinds of labor and ruling prices. 

Discuss methods of marketing. 

No attempt has been made to include all the crops grown in Cali- 
fornia, but only a few of those most typical and representative of 
the agriculture of the state. Even according to this rule there are 
important omissions. 

The list of crops discussed follows : 


Deciduous Fruits 







Semi-tropical Fruits 



Sugar Beets 

Citrus Fruits 






The production of meat (beef, pork, and mutton), dairying 
(butter, cheese, ice cream and market milk), poultry raising, and 
beekeeping have become specialized industries in California and are 
treated in appropriate groups. 


By B. A. Madson, Assistant Professor of Agronomy 

Alfalfa is and doubtless always will be the leading forage legume of Cali- 
fornia. The climate and soil conditions of this state are eminently suited to its 
growth. While these two factors have doubtless played an important part in 
centralizing the industry in certain sections of the state, water has in all 
probability been the controlling factor. Modesto, Turlock, Merced, and Fresno 
are especially noted as centers of alfalfa production and here also we find 
irrigation highly developed. Within the past few years the Imperial Valley, 
with its abundant supply of water, has become an extensive producer of alfalfa. 
In the Sacramento Valley also we find that the importance and production of 
alfalfa is in direct ratio to the irrigation development. It is true that in a 
few sections alfalfa is successfully grown with natural sub -irrigation, but the 
highest degree of perfection is seldom attained unless the farmer has at his 
command an adequate supply of irrigation water obtained either from a ditch 
or from wells. 

Alfalfa is not as exacting in its soil requirements as some other crops, 
though there are certain conditions which are unfavorable to its growth. It 
thrives best on a deep, well-drained loam of uniform character and of high 
lime content. Soils which possess an impervious stratum or hardpan near the 
surface or which have a high water table should be avoided. The alfalfa 
plant possesses an extensive root system and any soil condition which interferes 
with its free development will materially check its growth. Acidity or excessive 
alkalinity are, of course, always objectionable. The former occurs only to a 
limited extent in this state, but the latter is quite prevalent and is frequently 
associated with hardpan. 

The first step in the preparation of a field for alfalfa is to level and check 
for irrigation. This work should be carefully done, as the success of the crop 
as well as the cost of production is affected in a large measure by the rapidity 
and uniformity with which the water can be distributed, as well as the ease 
with which it can be applied. Leveling and checking should always be preceded 
by a careful survey of the field. The system of checks to be used must be 
governed by the character of the soil, the contour of the field, and the volume 
of water available. The best time to do the leveling is in the summer or 
fall while the soil is dry. At this season of the year less labor will be required 
to do the work, and there is less danger of injuring the physical condition of 
the soil by puddling or packing than when it is wet. The cost of doing the 
work will vary greatly, depending on the character of the field and the amount 
of soil to be moved, but on the basis of normal conditions should not exceed 
$20 to $25 an acre as an average. 

After leveling the checks should be plowed to a depth of eight or ten 
inches to provide sufficient loose soil for a good seed bed. If water is available 
in the late summer or early fall, it is a common practice to irrigate the land, 
prepare the seed bed as soon as possible after irrigation, and then seed the 
alfalfa. Alfalfa seeded by the middle of September will usually attain sufficient 
growth before winter to withstand the frost. The more common practice, 
however, is to level, check, and plow the land in the fall, and then allow it to 


lie idle until about the first of March, when the seed bed is prepared with a 
disc and harrow and the alfalfa seeded at the rate of twenty pounds per acre. 

Ordinarily but little attention is necessary after the seed has been planted. 
During the first season the young alfalfa should be irrigated sparingly to 
encourage deep root development. When once established, however, it should 
be irrigated regularly to assure rapid uniform growth. Under normal con- 
ditions one irrigation per cutting is ample, but upon light soil two irrigations 
may prove more efficient. After the first year alfalfa will usually respond 
readily to winter cultivation, which helps to destroy weeds and loosens up 
the soil, affording better aeration and encouraging bacterial action. 

Upon well-established alfalfa fields five to seven cuttings are obtained per 
season. The crop should be cut when one-tenth in bloom, or when the new 
shoots appear at the crown. Under normal conditions four to six tons of hay 
per acre may be considered a fair season 's yield, though with good cultural 
methods and favorable conditions eight and ten tons are not impossible. 

The cost of preparing the seed bed and seeding the crop, together with the 
cost of the seed is, at the present time, about $8 to $10 per acre. The average 
cost of handling the hay crop, including irrigation, is probably about $4.50 to 
$6 per ton, though this may vary considerably with local conditions. 

The alfalfa fields of California vary from a few acres to several hundred 
acres in size. The smaller tracts usually constitute a part of some diversified 
type of farming, the bulk of the product being fed on the farm. In such cases 
the present tendency is to include alfalfa in a definite rotation system, allowing 
it to occupy the land for a period of from four to six years, after which it 
is plowed up and the land planted to some other crop. As the yield and 
quality of hay usually declines rapidly after the fifth or sixth year, such a 
practice is highly commendable, not only because of the greater returns from 
the alfalfa, but because of the marked beneficial effect on the succeeding crop. 
On the larger tracts alfalfa is more often regarded as a permanent crop and 
is allowed to occupy the land as long as it will yield profitable returns. As 
the alfalfa becomes older, however, more care and cultivation is required to 
control weeds and keep the crop in a healthy growing condition. In but few 
instances in the state does an alfalfa field remain profitable after the tenth year. 

In either case, however, alfalfa production is both desirable and profitable, 
giving good returns and providing employment for both men and team during 
a large portion of the year. The labor required to handle the crop will vary 
with the size of the tract and the equipment available; usually, however, it 
requires two men and two teams to every forty acres throughout the growing 

The rental price of alfalfa land varies from $15 to $20 per acre, depending 
upon the locality. In a few cases where intensive dairying is practiced and 
the alfalfa hay is fed on the ranch $25 an acre is secured. Eenting on shares 
is not as common as with grain land, though it is practiced to some extent, 
the owner receiving one-third of the crop and in nearly all cases supplying 
the water. 

Developed alfalfa land favorably located and in good condition commands 
a price of from $250 to $300 per acre. There is, however, still considerable 
undeveloped land in many of the alfalfa growing sections of the state, which 
can be purchased for $150 to $200. Higher prices should not be paid unless it 
has been proved that the conditions are especially well adapted to the pro- 


duction of the crop. There are suitable areas for growing alfalfa which will, 
in all probability, be eventually used for that purpose, though not at present 
considered within the alfalfa growing sections, which can be purchased for 
$100 per acre or less. 

By E. H. Taylor, Assistant Professor of Pomology 

The almond can be grown only in limited areas, owing to its susceptibility 
to frost. This is not due, as often supposed, to any greater tenderness of the 
blossoms or young fruit, but to the fact that this tree is the earliest of all our 
tree fruits to bloom in the spring, thus rendering it liable to more severe frosts 
than fruits which bloom later. 

The localities where the almond succeeds best are where there are no late 
spring frosts. Lowlands should be avoided because of the settling of cold air 
in these spots, causing later and more severe frosts than in adjacent higher 
land. Rolling hills just back from the lower levels of our large interior valleys 
and the alluvial fans projecting out from the hills, furnish the larger portions 
of our safe almond localities. Where large streams have built up the general 
level along their banks far out into the main valleys freedom from frosts is 
again marked. 

The soil best suited to the almond is a deep loam which is free from 
hardpan, or gravelly substrata, and at all times well drained. The almond 
will not endure standing water around its roots for any length of time and 
especially during its long growing season. The lighter soils, therefore, are 
the ones which should be sought. Too light a soil is equally undesirable, 
in being unable to retain a sufficiently uniform moisture content. 

In the most favorable soils the almond is grown on the almond root. Where 
the soil is inclined to be variable in character at different depths, where it is 
less than 8 to 12 feet deep, where irrigation is practiced, or wherever the 
water content in the soil is noticeably variable, the peach root is used. The 
Myrobalan plum root is not satisfactory as a stock. Plantings on heary soils 
do not ordinarily do well unless surface and sub-surface drainage is unusually 

Almonds should be planted 30 feet apart for best results. 

After planting, the tree is generally headed to 18 to 24 inches above 
the surface of the ground, leaving three or four branches well spaced up 
and down and around the trunk. These branches are then headed back 
moderately to serve as a foundation for the branching framework of the 
future tree. If thoroughly satisfactory branches cannot be found, prune to a 
whip and during the first summer, about May, choose main framework branches 
and thin out or cut back all the others to a subordinate place. At the end of 
the first year head the main framework branches moderately heavy and then 
head these lightly during the second summer, about May, when they have 
made from 18 to 24 inches growth. After this limit all pruning to winter 
thinning out to secure well shaped, reasonably open trees. Encourage fruiting 
well down to the center of the tree. 

The trees should come into profitable bearing about the fifth or sixth year. 

Harvesting, which commences a little before the middle of August and 


continues in the various varieties until the middle of September, is done by- 
knocking with long poles on to sheets spread under the trees. From here 
the nuts go to the huller, where they are separated from the hulls, then dried, 
bleached and sacked for shipment. 

Late ripening varieties will not do in regions subject to early rains or where 
fogs are prevalent, as the shells are darkened too much. In choosing varieties 
plant several varieties together to secure cross-pollination. All varieties are 
self-sterile and a few others, like the Nonpareil and I. X. L., Languedoc and 
Texas, and possibly others, are inter-sterile. Ne Plus Ultra and Drake make 
thoroughly practical pollenizers for Nonpareil, I. X. L., etc. 

The most important pest of the almond is the Eed Spider, of which there 
are two kinds. One kind spends its entire life on the trees and may be con- 
trolled largely with a winter spray of lime-sulphur or crude oil emulsion. The 
other spends only the summer on the tree and may be controlled by spraying 
with "Atomic Sulphur" or with dry sulphur dusted on the trees late in June 
or early in July. 

Eoot knot and oak fungus (Armillaria) must also be guarded against when 
the trees are being planted. 

The almond is grown on farms ranging from an acre or two up to one 
hundred or more acres. The average orchard is not over thirty acres. 

Good unimproved land for almond culture which is not subject to spring 
frosts may be purchased for from $150 to $500 per acre. Land with trees in 
bearing runs from $200 to $600 per acre and over. 

Marketing of the crop has been stabilized and greatly improved by the 
California Almond Growers Exchange, with offices in San Francisco. This is 
a purely cooperative, non-profit organization of over 2000 growers, representing 
well over 75 per cent of the growers of the state. For further information see 
Cal. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. No. 297, entitled "Almond Culture," by E. H. 
Taylor, which will be sent upon application free of charge. 

By B. A. Madson, Assistant Professor of Agronomy 

Barley is the leading cereal crop in California and its production, like that 
of the other small grains, is confined to the drier sections of the state where 
irrigation has not been developed. It is only in rare instances that the crop 
is irrigated, because after land has been brought under irrigation it becomes 
too valuable to be used for barley. 

The ability of barley to grow under conditions of limited rainfall has 
doubtless played an important part in centralizing the industry in those sections 
of the state where the annual precipitation is low. Thus we find the greatest 
production in the San Joaquin Valley, in the vicinity of Stockton, Merced, and 
Madera. It is also grown extensively near Yolo, Colusa, and Tehama, in the 
Sacramento Valley, and near Gonzales, Monterey County, on the coast. 

Barley thrives best in a relatively warm, dry climate and, fortunately, such 
is the prevailing climate throughout a large portion of the state. In its soil 
requirements barley is more exacting than most crops. It prefers a rich, fertile 
loam, well drained and rather light in character. Soils that are low in fertility, 


extremely light, or extremely heavy, or soils that remain cold and damp for 
a long period during the winter should be avoided for this crop. The barley 
plant has a rather delicate root system and any adverse soil condition is apt 
to seriously affect the growth of the plant. 

The dominant feature which characterizes barley culture in this state is 
mass production rather than the maximum production per unit area. The grain 
farms are all large, varying from a few hundred to several thousand acres in 
size. To handle such large areas with a minimum of labor the methods and 
implements used must be such as will enable the farmer to cover the most 
ground in the shortest possible time. Such methods, however, always result 
in improper preparation of the land. To such an extent has this been true in 
the past that the physical condition of the majority of our grain soils has 
been seriously injured, prematurely reducing their crop producing power. In 
many sections, however, there is at the present time a marked change taking 
place. The tendency is toward a reduction of the area per unit of labor, better 
preparation of the land, and a more frequent use of the summer fallow, all of 
which is being rewarded in greater profits. 

For barley the land should be plowed to a depth of six to eight inches in 
the fall or early winter, either before the rainy season begins or as soon after as 
possible. As soon as the soil has been moistened sufficiently to work properly 
the field should be worked down to a good seed bed with a disk and harrow, 
and the barley seeded with a drill as quickly as possible. While barley can 
be seeded later than wheat or oats, the highest yield will always be obtained 
by early seeding, preferably before the first of January. The rate of seeding 
varies from 50 to 120 pounds per acre, depending on the character of the soil 
and the seasonal precipitation. After seeding no further attention is ordinarily 
necessary, though if the soil is heavy and inclined to crust it is a good practice 
to harrow the field after the plants attain a height of four to six inches. 

The use of the fallow is unquestionably one of the most effective means 
at our command for maintaining the crop producing power of our grain land. 
Land to be fallowed should be plowed as deep as possible in the fall or early 
winter and allowed to lie idle until spring. During the spring and summer it 
should be worked occasionally with surface tillage implements to destroy weeds 
and establish and maintain a mulch. If properly handled it may then be 
seeded the following fall in the usual manner without additional preparation. 
Fallowing serves as a rotation measure, renovating the soil, destroying weeds, 
and conserving moisture. For the best results land should be fallowed every 
second or third year, depending on the character of the soil and the rainfall. 
One-third to one-half of the field should be fallowed each season. 

Barley is usually harvested with a combined harvester which cuts, threshes, 
and sacks the grain ready for market at a single operation. Five to six men 
are required to run the outfit and can harvest from twenty-five to forty acres 
per day. Barley should be cut as soon as it is ripe to avoid undue loss 
by shattering. 

Under continuous cropping fifteen sacks may be considered an average 
yield. In some cases twenty sacks may be obtained, but more often the yield 
is only ten to twelve sacks per acre. On fallowed land yields will vary 
from twenty-five to forty sacks or more, though normally thirty sacks is 
considered goods 


At the present time the cost of plowing, disking, harrowing, and seeding, 
together with the cost of the seed, is about $6 per acre. The cost of har- 
vesting a fifteen-sack crop, including sacks and hauling, is about $6.50, making 
the total cost of these items $12.50 per acre. The cost of maintaining the 
fallow and growing and handling a thirty-sack crop is about $17, so that 
the net return in the latter case will be considerably greater than in the former. 

Barley farming as a business must be conducted on relatively low priced 
land, as profitable returns cannot be obtained on a valuation of more than 
$75 to $100 per acre. Then, too, the farm must be relatively large. To yield 
the operation a paying income a farm of at least 200 to 250 acres is necessary. 

The usual basis for renting grain land is on shares, the owner requiring 
one-fourth to one-third of the crop; which means that normally eight to ten 
sacks must cover the cost of production and, besides, leave something to 
the farmer for his trouble. 

The principal advantage in favor of grain farming is that it requires a 
minimum of labor and a comparatively small outlay for equipment. The only 
time help is required is during seeding and harvesting, and sufficient labor of 
the transient type can usually be obtained for from $2.25 to $3 per day. On 
the other hand, with grain as the dominant feature, the equipment must neces- 
sarily lie idle the greater portion of the year, so that its total cost must be 
charged against the grain crop. It is, however, the type of farming best 
adapted to a large portion of our unirrigated land, and requires but relatively 
little capital at the start. 

There is still considerable undeveloped land suitable for this type of farming 
available in the foothill regions of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, 
as well as in some of the smaller, more isolated valleys of the state, which can 
be purchased for from $40 to $60 per acre. In the developed sections, on the 
other hand, there is but little land available for less than $100 per acre. 

By John W. Gilmore, Professor of Agronomy 

Bean culture in California may be considered under two heads, namely, 
field bean culture and Lima bean culture. While the soils and culture methods 
for these two types of beans are similar, they differ materially in respect to 
their requirements for temperature and moisture, including humidity. 

Lima Beans. — Mainly because of this difference the Lima bean is most 
extensively produced in the counties along the coast, including San Diego, 
Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura. In these counties the valley soils are deep 
and strong, and the peculiar requisite moisture conditions are afforded by 
frequent fogs from the ocean. The summer temperature in these bean sections 
is tempered, especially in respect to its uniformity, by ocean winds. This 
industry may be most profitably investigated in the vicinity of Ventura, Los 
Angeles, and Oxnard. In California the climatic conditions are more important 
as a limiting factor in the production of Lima beans than the soil, except in 
eases where the soil is unsuitable because of an alkali condition. 

Culture Methods. — The bean is a relatively deep-rooted plant, hence deep 
preparation of the soil is an important factor in the production of the crop. 
The land is plowed from six to eight or more inches deep as early in the 


autumn as is rendered possible by the rains. The land is left with rough, 
untreated surface during the winter months, in order to impound as much of 
the winter rains as possible. During February and March, when most of the 
rains are over, the surface is worked a number of times to smooth it down, to 
kill early germinating weeds, and to prepare the surface for the conservation 
of the stored moisture and for the planting of the seed. The work that has 
been expended upon the land up to this time comprises the major portion of 
the culture that the crop will receive, and this is very important, for thorough 
preparation in bean culture is more than half the labor insuring a crop. 
In Lima bean culture this thorough preparation is all the more necessary 
because little or no rain falls in the regions mentioned between the planting 
and the harvesting of the crop. ^ v 

Planting is usually best accomplished during the earlier days of May. By 
this time the soil has become warm and the free water has distributed itself 
through the soil. If beans are planted in cold, wet soil they will rot, or at 
best the plants will be non-uniform and retarded in their growth. From 
forty to sixty pounds of seed are used per acre, according to the size (the 
variety) of the seed and the physical condition and the strength of the soil. 
With optimum physical condition and moisture content less seed is required, 
for the fewer plants will cover the ground better and yield more. The rows 
are arranged from thirty to thirty-six inches apart and the beans are planted 
and thinned so as to stand eight or twelve inches apart in the row. On the 
stronger and moister soils the wider distances are given. Two inches is about 
the right depth of planting. 

During the growing season the crop is given several shallow cultivations 
until the vines cover the ground and during this period also one or two 
irrigations are given, unless through excellent preparation of the soil or 
abundant winter rains the growing crop does not need the moisture. On 
account of the absence of rainfall during the growing season, Lima beans 
in California do not have to be staked. 

Lima beans ripen from August 25th to September 25th. When the pods 
have matured and begun to turn yellow, the vines are cut just beneath 
the surface of the soil and are afterward thrown into small piles for ripening 
and curing. In cutting, from five to six acres per day is considered a day's 
work, while in piling a man will accomplish from three to four acres. 

Threshing is usually accomplished by itinerant threshing outfits, putting 
up .from 1000 to 2500 sacks per day. The charge is from 35 to 50 cents per 
sack, according to location or accessibility. 

The yield of Lima beans may range from twelve to thirty sacks (100 
pounds each) per acre. The average is about fourteen sacks. The farmer's 
selling price ranges from 4 to 6 cents per pound. The cost of production ranges 
from $18 to $25 per acre. On the basis of net returns Lima bean land is 
worth from $250 to $500 per acre. 

This crop is produced on farms of all sizes, from small areas of five and 
ten acres to large estates operated by corporations. The implements of culture 
and production are not expensive. When land is rented the tenant usually 
furnishes everything and retains two-thirds of the crop. 

Field Beans. — There are eleven varieties of field beans of commercial im- 
portance grown in California, with a few additional commercial varieties of 
lesser importance. These are in order of their production: 


Pink Sacramento Valley and Stockton Delta 

Small White Pajaro, Salinas and Lompoc Valleys. 

Lady Washington Sutter, Colusa, Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties. 

Black Eye (Cow pea)....Throughout the interior valleys, lowlands along the 

Sacramento Eiver and streams. 

Cranberry About the same range as above. 

Garbanzo Sutter County and Stockton Delta. 

Red Mexican Range about same as Pink, except rare in southern 


Red Kidney Range about same as Bayou. 

White Tepary Throughout the central valleys on dry lands. 

Horse bean Bay region and central Coast. 

Climate, soil and moisture are the principal factors that influence the 
distribution of these varieties. The bean grower must choose those varieties 
that are adapted to the conditions of his locality. 

What has been said regarding the preparation of the land, culture methods 
and care of the crop for Lima beans applies equally well for field beans. 
Among the varieties mentioned may be found those adapted to various soils; 
but generally the light, sandy soils and the adobes are not suitable to beans 
because of the poor moisture-holding qualities of the former and the difficulties 
of keeping the latter in good physical conditions during the summer months. 

The major acreage of field beans is not irrigated, but on the drier lands 
and for those planted late one or two irrigations add much to the yield. The 
usual practice is to conserve the moisture required by suitable cultivation. 

A satisfactory yield of field beans is about 1400 pounds per acre, though 
on account of climate and soils the yield varies greatly, 2500 pounds per 
acre being frequently produced. The farm price varies with the variety from 
3 cents to 8 cents per pound. 

The cost of production of field beans varies more widely than for Lima 
beans, mainly owing to variation in soil conditions. The most usual figure 
is between $15 and $18 per acre. 

By J. Eliot Coit, Professor of Citriculture 

There are about 200,000 acres planted to citrus fruits in California, the 
proportion of lemons to oranges being as 1 to 4. There are about 10,000 citrus 
growers, the average holding being therefore about twenty acres. The annual 
shipments are now about 50,000 cars, or 21,500,000 boxes, being approximately 
one-sixth of the world's supply. 

Citrus fruits are grown in favorable localities from San Diego County to 
Shasta County. The localities are in the order of present importance: (1) the 
area enclosed in and adjacent to a triangle drawn through Pasadena, Redlands, 
and Santa Ana; (2) the eastern foothills of Tulare County; (3) Ventura and 
Santa Barbara counties; (4) San Diego County; (5) Butte County. There are 
a great many smaller areas scattered through the state which are well suited 
to citrus fruits. The industry is older in southern California and there the 
lands and water have been further developed and prices of land and water 


are much higher than in the central and northern parts of the state. The cost 
of land varies from $150 to $500 an acre and water rights from $75 to $300 
or more. It costs to establish an orchard and care for it through the first five 
years from $800 to $1200 per acre in southern California and from $500 to 
$900 per acre in other parts of the state. 

It is not the custom to rent citrus properties in California. The labor in 
California citrus groves is done principally by Americans, although a good 
many Mexicans, Italians, and Orientals are employed. Foremen receive from 
$75 to $125 per month, teamsters from $65 to $80, irrigators from $3.00 to $3.50 
per day, primers from $3.00 to $4.50 per day, picking foreman from $3.00 to 
$4.50, pickers from $2.50 to $3.50, and fumigators from 25 to 50 cents per hour. 
Ordinary labor is paid $2.50 to $3.50 per day. 

Orange trees which have been properly grown should yield 350 to 400 packed 
boxes or a car per acre after twelve years old. Lemons will yield about one- 
third to one-half more tonnage per acre than oranges. 

About 75 per cent of the fruit is sold through a very well organized 
cooperative selling agency known as the California Fruit Growers' Exchange. 
The grower buys stock in proportion to his acreage in a local packing-house 
which is owned and operated by an association of growers. Several associations 
together form a district exchange, which orders cars, ships the fruit, and 
distributes the returns. All of the district exchanges belong to the central 
exchange, which furnishes facilities for marketing the fruit in the shape of 
bonded agents working under salary in the principal markets. The central 
exchange also furnishes daily market reports and other information. Grower- 
members are prohibited from selling and delivering fruit outside of the associa- 
tion. Growers may withdraw from the association at the end of any year. 

There are about forty cooperative marketing associations outside of the 
Exchange and a number of independent grower-shippers. Very little fruit is 
shipped on consignment. 

Some persons have made fortunes in citrus fruit, while many others have 
lost money. Others would have lost money had it not been for the timely 
advance in the value of the land for residence or other purposes. 

Any person, however, with sufficient capital, a reasonable knowledge of 
horticultural operations, and ordinarily good business judgment, who is indus- 
trious and persevering, may expect to make a good profit by raising citrus 
fruits, provided he or she pays attention to the following points: 

1. Select a location in a proved citrus district reasonably free from frosts 
and winds and within hauling distance of a packing-house. 

2. Select a deep soil easy to work, fertile, well drained, and drive a good 
bargain for it. 

3. Be sure of an ample supply of good water to which the land has an 
inalienable right. For full bearing trees near the coast on a retentive soil 
about l 1 /! miners' inches of water is needed for ten acres. The same trees in 
interior valleys and especially on gravelly soils need not less than three miners' 
inches to ten acres. When buying a young grove bear in mind that only a 
small amount of water is needed for small trees and that some people develop 
groves with insufficient water rights with the intention of selling to an inex- 
perienced person at the critical time. Beware of a citrus development based 
on surplus water. 


4. Secure good strong trees free from scale which have been propagated 
from carefully selected buds of standard varieties. The standard varieties in 
California are few in number. They are: Navel and Valencia oranges, Eureka 
and Lisbon lemons, Marsh seedless pomelo, and Dancy tangerine. 

5. Plant the trees properly, using great care not to let the sun strike the 
bare roots. Inexperienced planters should purchase balled trees, as there is less 
danger of losing them during transplantation. 

6. Care for the trees personally and conscientiously in regard to cultivation, 
irrigation, fertilization, and pruning. 

7. Prevent scale insects and diseases from gaining a foothold. Remember 
that the average cost of fumigation is $30 per acre every alternate year, and 
this is 6 per cent on $500, consequently in a scale-infested locality land is 
worth less for citrus production, other things being equal. 

8. Join a local marketing association and cooperate with the neighbors in 
frost fighting, insect and disease control, and in other ways for the general 
good of the neighborhood. 

9. Write freely to the College of Agriculture for advice and enroll for the 
Correspondence Course on Citrus Fruits. 

By Walter E. Packard, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Extension 

Cotton can be raised in any of the interior valleys of California where irri- 
gation water is to be had and where there is assurance of freedom from cold 
coast fogs. Commercial plantings at present occur in Imperial, Palo Verde, 
San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys; Calexico, El Centro, Blythe, Fresno and 
Chico being the main cotton centers. Ample ginning facilities are now pro- 
vided at all Imperial Valley points, at Blythe, Yuma, Bakersfield and Fresno, 
while cottonseed oil mills are located at Calexico, El Centro, Los Angeles 
and Fresno. 

Three general types of cotton are grown: short staple, Durango and 
Egyptian. Short staple cotton is most commonly planted, as the market is 
established and less care is required in growing the crop. Mebane Triumph, 
which represents the majority of the short staple acreage, has an average 
length of one inch, has a ginning percentage of from 33 to 35 per cent, and 
yields from one-half bale to two bales per acre, depending upon the conditions 
under which it is grown and upon the quality of seed used. 

Durango cotton, a medium long staple variety introduced from Mexico by 
the United States Department of Agriculture, has been grown extensively. 
This variety is well adapted to California conditions, although the yield is 
affected by a tendency to drop an excessive number of squares as a result 
of any sudden change of moisture condition affecting the plant. Durango 
averages one and three-sixteenths inches in length, has a ginning percentage 
of from 29 to 31 per cent, and yields slightly less per acre than Mebane Triumph 
under like conditions. The fibre is used largely for thread manufacture and 
brings from 3 to 5 cents more on the market than short cotton during normal 

Egyptian cotton was grown experimentally for a number of years before 
being adopted by farmers for commercial planting. Both the Yuma and Pima 


strains of Egyptian cotton were widely planted in 1918. Pima, the better of 
the two types, is replacing Yuma as rapidly as pure seed can be secured for 
planting. Pima cotton averages 1% to Vy 1G inches in length, has a ginning 
percentage of from 26 to 28 per cent, and yields from one-fourth of a bale to 
one bale per acre, averaging one-half bale. Pima Egyptian requires a rela- 
tively longer growing season than either Durango or Mebane Triumph, but 
has an advantage in its tendency to hold on to both squares and bolls when 
the plant is affected by unfavorable moisture conditions. American Egyptian 
cotton, of the grade of Yuma, sold before the war for 19 to 22 cents. The 
price from 1918 for Pima has ranged between 56 to 65 cents. The use of 
this variety in the manufacture of strong fabrics has created a demand for 
this quality of cotton. 

It is highly desirable that one type of cotton be selected in any one 
section, as promiscuous planting causes deterioration by cross-pollination. The 
mixing of seed at the gin even when great care is exercised in cleaning the 
gin between ginnings is another very common cause of deterioration in field 
planting. Any community can gain by specialization on one variety of 
cotton not only in developing a pure strain of superior quality, but in creating 
a reputation for a special type which can always be secured by buyers inter- 
ested in the particular staples. 

Cotton can be grown successfully on a variety of soils. Hardpan land or 
soil containing excessive alkali should be avoided. Sandy loam soil, particularly 
if it is old alfalfa land, produces the largest yields. Sub-irrigated land is 
entirely satisfactory, provided the water does not come so close to the surface 
as to interfere with the proper root development. Good yields have been 
secured on land where the water table has risen to within two feet of the 
surface during the summer months. 

Cotton is planted any time after the danger of frost is over until the 
first of June, April being the best month. The usual practice in preparing 
land for cotton is to plow the field thoroughly early in the spring. The land 
is then irrigated by flooding and thoroughly disked as soon as the land becomes 
dry enough to work. Furrows are made with the use of a lister, the furrows 
being from 3 feet 6 inches to 3 feet 10 inches apart. After furrowing and 
shortly before planting time, the land is irrigated by running water down 
the furrows for a sufficiently long time to allow a thorough saturation of the 
ridges. The land is then harrowed as soon after irrigation as possible, so 
that the ridges are dragged down quite thoroughly, leaving a mellow seed 
bed for planting. The seed is drilled in on top of the ridge by the use of 
an ordinary one or two row corn and cotton planter, from twenty to thirty-five 
pounds of seed being used. The land is sometimes harrowed following seeding. 

Where surface irrigation is not required cotton is often planted flat, and 
when the soil is mellow the results are good. Where the land is not ridged 
the field is plowed, disked and thoroughly harrowed in the early spring and 
seeded as soon as the weather permits. The objection to this method, where 
irrigation is practised, is that the seed is often planted where there is in- 
sufficient moisture, requiring a second irrigation to sprout the seed. 

Volunteering cotton from year to year has been practised in many cases. 
If the earth is ridged up thoroughly about the plant during the cold winter 
period it tends to prevent the freezing of the lower buds and a good plant 
is often secured without reseeding. Volunteering, however, is not generally 
Considered the best agricultural practice. 


The irrigation of cotton can be divided into two periods: the first covering 
the time from planting to the setting of the first bolls, and the second from 
the setting of the first bolls until maturity. During the first period it is im- 
portant to have a deep penetration of moisture in order that the young plants 
which are becoming established may develop a deep rooting system. During 
the second period it is important to maintain as uniform a moisture condition 
as possible in order that the plants may not receive any sudden shock through 
irrigation, causing a loss of squares and bolls. The number of irrigations and 
the time of irrigation depends entirely upon the soil and methods of applying 
the water. In some fields where the soil is mellow one or two irrigations are 
sufficient, while in heavy clays where water penetrates slowly from twelve to 
fourteen irrigations are often given. Each farmer should know his soil type and 
irrigate according to the needs of the plants. 

Cotton is thinned when the plants are from five to ten inches high. Mebane 
Triumph and Durango are thinned from eighteen to twenty-four inches apart 
in the row, while Egyptian cotton yields best when thinned to from six to 
ten inches. The first cultivation usually follows immediately after thinning 
and is continued during the season as is necessary to keep the soil in tilth. 

Two insects have caused appreciable damage in the cotton fields of the 
state. The "tarnished bug" or "common plant bug" (Lygus pratensis) appears 
about June 1st and stings the squares, causing many of them to drop. The 
height of the damage occurs in July. A "squash bug" (Euschistis impictiven- 
tris) appears in July and causes considerable loss by stinging bolls, causing the 
cotton in one or more locks to spoil. No boll weevils have appeared in Cali- 

Some difficulty has been experienced in securing sufficient experienced labor 
to handle the cotton during the picking season. Picking cost from 75 cents 
to $1.25 per hundred pounds of seed cotton before the war, but was increased 
to from 2 to 2% cents per pound for short cotton and from 4% to 5^ cents 
per pound for Egyptian in 1918. 

Land suitable for cotton can be purchased for $100 to $200 per acre, or can 
be rented for cash or on shares. Share renting is commonly practised: the 
land owner furnishing all horses and tools in addition to furnishing land, 
paying taxes and a portion of the water charges; the renter furnishing all 
labor and paying a portion of the water cost and receiving one-half to three- 
fifths of the crop at the gin. Both the picking and ginning expense is usually 
divided according to the division of the crop. The seed is usually divided 
equally. Arrangements vary, of course, according to conditions. 


By J. C. Whitten, Professor of Pomology 

In choosing the species or varieties of deciduous fruit to plant the new 
farmer should be guided by (1) the adaptability of his soil and conditions; 
(2) the purpose for which the fruit is grown; (3) the accumulated experience 
of the successful growers in the neighborhood; and (4) he should avail himself 
of what has been accomplished by organized effort in the establishment of 
grades ; brands and market demands for the crop. 


The best varieties of fruit for the new farmer to plant are those which 
have been found to be especially adapted to his neighborhood. This point 
may be determined by consulting the more successful fruit growers having 
soil and conditions similar to his own. In districts which are adapted to 
a wide range of species and varieties, a number of kinds of fruit may be 
planted if desired. This admits of a better distribution of labor, since dif- 
ferent varieties need care and harvesting at different periods. 

Certain districts have become widely known for their adaptability to a 
single kind of fruit which reaches the highest perfection. In such a district 
the new farmer should take advantage of this fact. It is an asset which the 
community has made for him. 

Just why a given soil or surroundings may prove, upon extended trial, to 
develop a given fruit to perfection is not fully understood. Enough is known 
of the general requirements of the different species, however, to be very 
helpful in determining their best location. All deciduous fruits require a well- 
drained soil, though some are far more partial to thorough drainage and 
aeration than are others. 

The pear requires a heavier, finer loam with more liberal admixture of 
clay than do the other deciduous fruits. Even the pear, however, will not 
endure a very wet, sticky soil, which is cold while wet and which bakes severely 
when dry. Often it may safely be planted on heavier land than is adapted 
to other fruits. It is more resistant to oak fungus and alkali and is often 
used for replanting in parts of orchards where other fruits have died out. The 
apple perhaps ranks next to the pear in respect to the above adaptations. The 
walnut requires a deep, moist soil, when worked on the California black walnut 
stock. The almond, cherry, and peach require deep, well drained soil. Prunes, 
plums and apricots have an intermediate drainage requirement. 

Spring frosts should be considered as a factor in determining the location 
of the different species. Since heavy cold air settles or drains into the low 
places, the latter are more likely to be frosty; while the higher elevations 
(not high altitudes) are freer from frost. The susceptibility to frost injury 
of a species depends mainly upon its season of blossoming; the later it blooms 
the safer it is from injury. The almond blooms first, while the nights are 
cold, and a first requisite for its success is an elevation above the frost line. 
Its blossoming season is followed by that of other species in the following 
order: Apricot, Japanese plum, peach, cherry, pear, apple, prune, quince. 

Other things being equal, all fruits do better in rich soils; some, however, 
require much richer soils than others for profitable results. The relative re- 
quirement of the different species in this respect is based partly upon field 
observations of their growth and partly upon determinations which have been 
made, showing the relative amount of plant food annually removed from the 
soil by each species and not returned in their leaves when they fall. The 
walnut probably requires the richest, deepest soil, followed in order by the 
peach, almond, prune, Japanese plum, apricot, apple, cherry, and pear. 

Fruits which are to be sun dried require emphatically abundant sunlight 
and higher day temperatures. Abundant sunlight and warmth are essential 
to the development of the desirable sugar content, during their ripening 
period, and should be prolonged sufficiently to complete the drying process after 
the fruit is ripe. The dried fruit industry is, therefore, greatly favored by 
conditions prevailing in California fruit districts. 


A limiting factor in pear production the country* over is blight. Soft, 
succulent, rapid growing tissue favors, and slow growing, firm tissue opposes 
the entrance and spread of blight. For that reason blight is most serious in 
districts where high temperatures favor rank, succulent growth of the pear tree 
in early summer. In some of the cooler sections of California, such as the 
coastal valleys and to a degree in the cooler elevations of the foot hills, blight 
is less serious. In these districts pear growing is favored to a degree not 
possible in any other part of the country. 

A given community may be famous for its dessert fruit, shipped fresh, 
or for its dried or canned fruit. Usually definite grades or brands are estab- 
lished. Market demands usually have been created. One should plant to 
conform to the established industry of the neighborhood, using the varieties 
and methods upon which the business has been built up. 

As a rule it is safest to advise the new farmer to be guided by the best 
local practices, employed by the more prosperous fruit growers, in producing, 
handling and marketing the fruit crop. The very fact that a successful fruit 
growing industry has been developed is evidence that it has been based upon 
sound practice and years of organized effort in building up the industry. One 
should not lightly discard established practice to adopt, indiscriminately, new 
varieties, new methods or alleged ''short cuts" to success, even when these 
are advised by the enthusiast. Innovations should be tested only on a small 
scale until their superior worth is proven beyond doubt. 

If the farmer is in doubt as to the soundness of a given practice he may 
consult his local farm bureau, farm advisor, horticultural commissioner or the 
experiment station. These agencies are helpful in enabling the orchardist to 
determine whether, in a given case, he may more safely conform to standard 
practice or whether he may make progress by adopting the new. 

In starting a deciduous orchard, moderate sized, one year old trees are 
preferable to large, strongly branched, older trees, because (1) the smaller 
trees suffer less back-set in transplanting, and .(2) they may be given the 
desired form, or distribution of branches. 

At the time of planting the young fruit tree should be pruned to a single 
whip and cut back to about two feet in height. 

The tree should be whitewashed as soon as possible after planting to prevent 
sunscald and drying out before it starts growth in spring. The whitewash 
reflects the heat of the sun, keeping the tree at atmospheric temperature. 
A tree not protected by whitewash warms up to 15 to 25 degrees above atmos- 
pheric temperature during the sunny part of the day and cools to atmospheric 
temperature (freezing or sometimes below) at night. 

As soon as new shoots two or three inches long start on the tree in March 
attention should be given to spacing properly the main, permanent branches. 
About three main limbs should arise from the stem. These should be spaced 
six or eight inches apart, up and down the trunk, and spread about equally in 
different directions. If the main limbs form opposite each other, in a single 
whorl, they form bad forks, later crowd at the base and result in diseased 

The strongest shoot at the top should be selected for tho upper main 
limb. Another bud or shoot fifteen or sixteen inches lower down, and eight 


or ten inches from the ground, should be selected for the lower main limb. 
A bud or shoot about midway between these two should form the third limb. 
These three main limbs may be encouraged to outgrow all the others by 
pinching back the remaining shoots that push out between the^m. 

Do not remove any of the shoots that start. Pinch them back so as to 
leave two or three leaves at the base of each shoot. The leaves on these 
short twigs up and down the stem shade the trunk, cool it by evaporation 
and digest plant food to nourish the trunk of the tree and the root system. 
They result in a larger, stronger tree. They also may become the first 
fruiting branches. 

The following winter, when the young tree has completed its first summer's 
growth, the three main limbs should be headed back to where they should 
divide into two branches each. They should be cut to about a uniform height. 
Usually the lower one will be cut to about two feet and the upper one to about 
fifteen inches in length. 

In March or early April two main shoots near the top of each of these 
main limbs should be encouraged to develop, thus establishing six main limbs. 
Superior growth of these six branches is secured by pinching back any addi- 
tional shoots that tend to outgrow them. Again, do not prune off the surplus 
shoots; keep them short by pinching them back. 

By May of the second spring these six strong, growing branches will have 
reached a height where most of them should divide again. At this time they 
should be cut back, about breast high. With this May heading about eight 
or ten permanent main branches will be secured. 

No subsequent heading back should be done, except with meager branching 
sorts like cherries. The eight or ten main limbs, when once established, should 
be left to make and retain their normal length growth annually. 

Except for heading back the three primary limbs the first winter and 
heading back the six limbs that arise from these the following May, winter 
pruning should consist of thinning out limbs that grow too close together; 
removing strong, outside branches, low down, which may get in the way of 
cultivation; of removing any strong water sprouts that start in the center of 
the tree, and shortening inner branches that tend to cross or interfere. 

A broad, spreading tree should be maintained with open center to admit 
filtered sunlight from above. Small branches and fruiting twigs should be 
preserved throughout the length of the main limbs. They protect from sun- 
scald, nourish the tree, and become the first fruiting branches. 

If thinning out at the top is practised, fruiting twigs may be maintained 
throughout the body of the tree, from the trunk upward. The tree will reach 
bearing age one or two years earlier and will carry heavier crops. Main limbs 
not headed back spread outward, droop with a gradual curve that does not 
break and admit of pruning and handling most of the crop from the ground. 

Trees annually headed back make numerous rank sprouts just at the point 
where the limbs are headed. These rank, late growing sprouts rob the twigs 
on the branches below and shade them out, resulting in long, bare, unfruitful 
lower limbs which are subject to sunscald, gumming, borers or other injury. 



By I. J. Condit, Assistant Professor of Citriculture 

The fig acreage in California in 1917 was reported as follows: Six thousand 
and twenty-two acres in bearing and 3655 acres non-bearing. This does not 
include over 4300 acres planted in Fresno County during 1917 and 1918. The 
estimated production of dried figs in California in 1916 was as follows: 

State Fresno County 

Adriatic 5000 tons 3800 tons 

Smyrnas 600 tons 400 tons 

Mission 300 tons 100 tons 

In 1917 the crop amounted to about 12,000 tons. In normal years the import* 
of dried figs into the United States total about 20,000,000 pounds, valued at 

Fig trees flourish and produce fresh fruit in practically all parts of Cali- 
fornia where the temperature does not fall below 15° F. Young fig trees are 
tender and in exposed valley locations should be protected with cornstalks 
to avoid severe frost injury. The production of dried figs on a commercial 
scale is largely limited to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, where the 
fruit can be dried out of doors. 

Foothill soils and mesas or tablelands are most suitable for fig orchards. 
Sandy soils should be avoided on account of the difficulty of maintaining a 
uniform moisture content and because of the susceptibility of fig roots in sandy 
soil to the attacks of nematode worms which weaken the tree and limit the 
crop. Irrigation may or may not be necessary, depending upon the soil con- 
ditions and the depth of the water table. Hardpan land is being utilized in 
many localities for fig culture. The measure of success upon such land depends 
upon the depth and the thickness of the hardpan layer and the extent to which 
it can be shattered before planting the trees. Soils in which the water table 
is near the surface should be avoided. 

The cost of good fig land will vary from $75 to $300 an acre, depending 
upon the location and the water supply. Fig trees come into bearing at 
from three to five years of age and should be in full bearing at twelve to 
fifteen years. The cost of the trees varies from $18 to $30 per hundred and 
the cost of bringing an orchard into bearing will vary from $50 up to $200 
an acre, depending upon the necessity and expense of leveling land, blasting 
tree holes and development of an irrigation system. Some annual inter-crops 
may be profitably grown between the rows; grapevines, however, which, are 
sometimes used as an inter-crop, seriously injure and stunt fig trees. The 
cost of operating a bearing fig orchard, including harvesting, taxes, interest, 
etc., will vary from $75 to $100 per acre per year. It is not the custom to 
rent fig properties in California. 

The yields to be expected vary widely, but averaging the good and poor 
seasons together they may be expected to be somewhat as follows: Mission, 
2% to Sy 2 tons per acre; Adriatic and Smyrna, 2y 2 to 3 tons per acre. The 
prices received vary in different years, depending upon the supply and demand. 
Under pre-war conditions the grower received about 2 cents per pound for the 
Mission, 3% cents for the Adriatic and from 5 to 6 cents for the Smyrna. For 


the 1918 season the California Fig Growers' Association, a cooperative organ- 
ization, decided that the following prices were reasonable, although many 
tons of dried figs were sold at much higher figures: Smyrna, 15 cents; Adriatic 
and Kadota, 10 cents; Black Mission, 8 cents. The testimony of a large number 
of growers is to the effect that at present (aside from shipping fresh figs) 
there is most money in the Adriatic, after that the Smyrna, and, lastly, the 

The business of packing and shipping fresh figs is growing steadily both 
for local and Eastern markets. For a number of years eastern shipments of 
fresh figs packed in pony refrigerators have been profitably made from the 
Coachella Valley and a few other points. The so-called Kadota fig is an 
excellent fresh fig for distant markets on account of its thick skin or rind, 
which insures good keeping qualities. This thick skin is, however, inimical to 
the production of a superior dried fig. The Kadota is being largely used for 
preserving and candying, to which purpose it is well adapted. 

Fig trees are singularly free from insect pests and fungous diseases. Smyrna 
figs are liable to split whenever moisture conditions in soil or atmosphere are 
not uniform. Adriatic figs are inclined to sour and ferment during the latter 
part of the drying season when nights are cool and atmospheric humidity in- 
creases. In isolated orchards birds often damage a considerable percentage 
of the crop. 

A well-established and well-cared-for fig orchard should bear profitable 
crops for an indefinite period. 

The artificial process of caprification is necessary only with Smyrna varieties. 

By F. T. Bioletti, Professor of Viticulture and Enology 

Grapes are grown commercially in every county in California, except one 
or two in the extreme north and two or three in the higher mountain regions. 

Varieties and Localities. — Raisin grapes are grown principally in the San 
Joaquin Valley, with Fresno as the center. Here the Muscat and Sultanina 
develop the necessary sugar early enough to be dried in the sun while the 
weather is still hot and dry. Minor centers where good raisins are made 
occur in the central part of the Sacramento Valley and even near the coast in 
the extreme south, but drying the fruit is often uncertain and dipping or 
artificial driers must sometimes be resorted to. 

The earliest shipping grapes are Sultanina and Malaga from the Coachella 
and Imperial valleys. The next, principally of the same varieties, come from 
the foothills of Tulare County and the neighborhoods of Winters and Vacaville. 
Malaga is the principal white shipping grape and is grown most largely in the 
San Joaquin Valley south of Modesto. The Flame Tokay, which constitutes the 
main bulk shipped, is grown principally in San Joaquin County, with Lodi as 
a center and in Sacramento County along the American River. Farther south 
it fails to develop sufficient color. The next most important shipping grape 
is the Emperor, grown principally in Tulare and Fresno counties. The latest 


shipping grapes are grown in Contra Costa and Santa Cruz counties principally. 
In general, shipping grapes can be grown profitably only in localities where 
packing and transportation facilities have been established. Eich soil and 
abundant water are necessary. 

Grapes for dry wine have been grown most profitably in the coast counties 
from Mendocino to San Diego, where the acidity of the fruit and the cool 
weather of the vintage are suitable; sweet wine grapes in the great interior 
valleys from Shasta to Kern and also in parts of the San Gabriel Valley in 
southern California, where rich soil insures large crops and the climate 
promotes low acidity and high sugar content in the grapes. 

On a twenty-acre vineyard most of the work except harvesting can be done 
by the owner himself. Unless he has had considerable experience, it would be 
unwise to attempt to handle more. 

In starting a vineyard great care should be used in choosing the planting 
stock. As a rule one year old rooted vines grown from cuttings carefully 
selected from healthy, profitable vines should be used. In rich, moist, sandy 
loam the cuttings may often be planted directly in the field with considerable 
saving in expense and some in time. In most of the coast regions phylloxera 
resistant bench grafts must be used. 

The soil should be cleared, leveled where irrigation is needed, and plowed 
or subsoiled at least twelve inches deep before planting. Great care in training 
and pruning the young vines for the first three years before they come into 
bearing is necessary. Stakes must be used from the end of the first year until 
the vines can support themselves. Some varieties, such as Sultanina, require 
trellising. Pruning must be done by expert hands and must be adapted to the 
particular variety. Sulfuring once, twice or three times during the season is 
needed to control the Oidium. Special methods of thinning and harvesting 
are needed for some table grapes. 

A well-managed vineyard on suitable soil in a suitable locality may yield 
a net profit of from $50 to $200 per acre when in full bearing. One planted 
on poor soil or in an unfavorable locality, or one which is neglected or im- 
properly handled, will often fail to pay running expenses. 

Suitable land can be obtained for from $150 to $250 per acre in small tracts. 
The cost of planting and care of an ordinary vineyard for the first three years 
will be about $150. Where resistant vines are used about $40 per acre must 
be added to this. If the vines are to be trellised like Sultaninas from $25 to 
$30 per acre must be added. 

The average cultural expenses of a bearing vineyard will seldom be less 
than $15 per acre per annum and the fixed charges for taxes, depreciation, and 
interest on the investment will usually exceed $25. 

It should be recognized by the planter that the land suitable for grape 
growing of all kinds in California is practically unlimited. When prices are 
high most vineyards are profitable and new plantings rapidly increase the crop 
of the state with a consequent drop in prices. Under these conditions the 
poorer vineyards become unprofitable. Any vineyard, however, which has some 
peculiar advantage of soil, location or management that enables it to produce 
more than the average crop will pass safely through the period of depression 
and be very profitable when the reaction of high prices recurs. 


By W. F. Oglesby, Former Assistant in Viticulture 

Regions. — Olives may be grown in most of the foothill sections of the interior 
valleys as far north as Bedding and in the warmer sections out on the floor of 
these valleys. They may, also, be grown in favored spots in all the coast 
valleys south of Mendocino County, although the cooler atmosphere retards 
somewhat the development and ripening of the fruit, and black scale is often 
troublesome and hard to control. It would be well for those who contemplate 
the planting of olive orchards to visit such places as Oroville, Fresno, San Ber- 
nardino, Los Angeles and San Diego, as the factors in these places and the dis- 
tricts around them will give some idea of conditions required. If the visit be 
made in late summer the disadvantages of shallow, leachy, heavy or poorly 
drained soils, as well as close planting, poor pruning, poor cultivation and poor 
drainage, will be readily seen. 

Climate. — Olive trees will grow wherever the temperature does not go below 
15° F in winter, but for fruit the latest killing frost in spring should be in 
April and the earliest killing frost in the fall late in November. From blossom- 
ing time to frost or for at least six and one-half months the mean daily 
temperature should not be less than 66° F. A higher mean would be better. 

Soil. — A deep, rich, well-drained, sandy loam is the ideal soil for olives. 
They will do fairly well, however, on any well drained soil. Very heavy or 
poorly drained soils, as well as those too coarse or gravelly to hold moisture, 
should be avoided. 

Irrigation. — No olive orchard should be planted without making provision 
for irrigation. The trees may do well and an occasional crop may be obtained, 
but an unirrigated olive orchard will prove of little commercial value. An 
olive orchard should be irrigated from three to twelve times per year, accord- 
ing to the character and depth of the soil. An equivalent of one miner's inch 
continuous flow during the growing season should be provided for each five 
acres of orchard as a minimum. 

Cultivation. — Olive orchards should be plowed deeply at least once a year 
and thoroughly cultivated after each irrigation. 

Pruning. — Annual pruning is necessary if annual crops are to be expected. 
If the pruning is neglected the tree will produce crops biennially or less fre- 
quently. Pruning should keep the head of the tree low and open and should 
regulate the amount of fruiting brush left from year to year. 

Harvesting. — All olives should be hand-picked. The degree of ripeness 
depends on the use to which the fruit is intended. If for green pickles, fruit 
should be full grown but still green in color. For ripe pickles and oil, fruit 
should be well colored, color varying according to variety. Varieties grown 
should be confined to those that grow large enough fruit for pickling. Mission, 
Manzanillo, Sevillano, and Ascalano are the most favored at present. 

Labor. — Price of labor will vary from $2 to $3 per day, according to the 
work done, expert growers and grafters getting the higher price. The picking 
of the fruit by hand will cost from $20 to $40 per ton. One man may care for 
from ten to forty acres. In any case he will need help at picking and pruning 


Lands Still Available. — The lower foothills, bench lands, and alluvial fans 
and, in the warmer sections, the well-drained bottom lands of situations men- 
tioned under "Regions." 

Commercial Value of Developed and Undeveloped Land. — Developed land is 
valued at from $300 to $600 per acre; undeveloped land at from $25 to $300 
per acre, price depending on location, character of the land, cost of leveling, etc. 

Marketing. — For the most part olives are sold directly to the canners and 
oil makers. Some growers have their own plants for pickling, but oil making 
requires such expensive machinery that very few individuals have them. There 
is little money in oil, so that the present tendency is to grow only such 
varieties as are good for pickling. Oil is a by-product. Only the undersized 
and frosted olives are now turned into oil. 

By Ralph E. Smith, Professor of Plant Pathology 

Soil and Climate. — The best pear soil is deep and rather heavy, with plenty 
of moisture. Alluvial river bottoms and moist clay-loam foothill slopes char- 
acterize our chief pear sections. The tree will stand more drouth, moisture, 
and alkali than most fruits, however, and thus is often used to fill in low, wet 
or slightly alkali spots or sloughs in orchards of peaches or apricots where 
the latter trees would not live. Pears are not very particular as to climate, 
flourishing equally well near the coast, in the interior valleys, and among the 
foothills. Irrigation is usually needed. 

Districts. — The greatest acreage of pears in California is to be found in the 
central coast valleys, the Sacramento Valley and adjacent regions and the Sierra 
foothills of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Lake, and Nevada counties. San 
Jose, Sacramento, Placerville, Marysville, and Anderson are centers of pro- 

Culture. — The Bartlett is the principal and almost the exclusive variety 
grown in California. A few others like the Winter Nelis are sometimes quite 
profitable, but their culture is exceptional. French seedling has been the usual 
rootstock, but the Japanese pear is coming into use on account of some resist- 
ance to blight and woolly aphis. Pears are planted about twenty-four feet 
apart, or seventy-five trees per acre. The trees cost about thirty cents each 
in quantity. Five to eight years is required to commence commercial bearing. 
The trees are long-lived and very hardy. Other crops may be grown between 
while the trees are young. Orchards should be plowed in spring, irrigated from 
two to five times according to locality, and cultivated frequently. Severe 
pruning is practiced.* The tree when planted should be cut back to a height 
of twenty inches and each year's growth thereafter is usually shortened to a 
length of twelve to eighteen inches, thinning also to a framework of three to 
five, frequently branched main limbs. Lateral branches should be headed in to 
produce fruit spurs. Fertilization is not much practiced and is often unde- 

* This is the standard method heretofore practiced. Experiments conducted 
by the University at Davis show that less severe pruning (as outlined on 
pp. 48-51 of this bulletin) produces stockier trees which bear earlier and is being 
adopted by many orchardists. 


sirable on account of making the trees more susceptible to blight. Spraying 
is necessary to control scab, codling worm and other pests. The usual practice 
is a late winter application of lime-sulphur as the buds are swelling, one com- 
bined spray of Bordeaux mixture and lead arsenate after blooming, and one or 
two later sprayings with lead arsenate. 

Harvesting. — The fruit is picked carefully from the tree by hand when 
"hard ripe." 

Marketing. — There are three principal uses for California pears: canning, 
drying, and shipping fresh. The Bartlett is preeminent on account of its 
suitability for all of these purposes. The fruit is shipped to the canner in 
loose boxes. Drying is often done by the grower himself. For shipping, each 
pear is wrapped in paper and they are then packed carefully in standard sized 

Cost of Production. — Production and harvesting expenses vary widely, but 
$75 to $100 per acre is a fairly liberal average of yearly expense with good 

Returns. — Production of trees ten years of age and up varies from three to 
ten or more tons per acre, and the usual price from $25 to $60 per ton. The 
foothill districts of smaller yield per tree make up to some extent by high 
shipping quality of the fruit. Orchards average from ten to one hundred acres. 

Cost of Groves and Land. — Good pear land, with water, can be bought at 
from $60 to $400 per acre, and producing groves are worth from $300 to $1000. 

Troubles. — Two diseases, blight and scab; two insects, codling worm and 
thrips; and an occasional late frost are the chief obstacles to pear culture. 
Scab and worms can be controlled by spraying. Blight is a very serious enemy 
and has ruined thousands of acres of pears in California and elsewhere. Pear 
planting is somewhat hazardous on account of this disease, although it can 
be fairly well controlled by very careful work. Control is effected by very 
thorough removal of affected parts, especially during the winter. The disease 
is extremely infectious. Partially resistant trees are being developed. Special 
information should be sought in blight control. 


By Thomas Francis Hunt, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Extension and 
Assistant Superintendent of Farmers' Institutes 

"All prunes are plums, but all plums are not prunes. A prune is a plum 
which can be dried without the removal of the pit without fermenting." The 
prune belongs to the genus Prunus, of which there are a great many cultivated 
varieties. Some of the most common grown commercially are the Prune d'Agen, 
or French, Robe de Sergeant, Imperial and Sugar. 

The culture of prunes constitutes a very large branch of California horti- 
culture, because the prune is a standard article of diet and is marketed ,as 
fresh and dried fruit. More prunes are sold than any other dried fruit in 
California. The range of soil and climatic conditions for the prune is very 
large. They are grown successfully in the valleys near the coast (not on the 
coast), as in the Santa Clara Valley, Santa Rosa, Napa, and other of the smallei 
valleys. In the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, where conditions are 
quite different, we find prune orchards doing well, as in the vicinity of Hanford, 


Visalia, Vaca Valley, Yuba City, and Chico. Smaller areas are found in the 
foothills near Auburn and Newcastle, where they do well. 

•Soils. — The prune is grown generally in deep, fertile, well-drained soils, 
"not too sandy nor too heavy like the clays and adobes. Because the tree is 
quite adaptable, a great many are planted on soils that are not suitable, such 
as the light sands, clays and adobes, and under these conditions the treep 
grow with varying degrees of success. In selecting a soil for prunes there 
are certain things one should observe very carefully before planting, and try 
to avoid. The soil should be deep, not underlaid with hardpan, standing water, 
strata of coarse gravel, or impervious clay near the surface. One may not 
always be able to get a soil where all these conditions are ideal, but should 
select as nearly this type as possible. The conditions to avoid named above 
are quite often improved by deep plowing, the use of explosives, drainage, 
barnyard manures, and green manure crops. These factors will have an im- 
portant bearing on the value of the land. Unimproved land in sections of the 
state where the industry is highly developed, as in the Santa Clara Valley, 
sells for $250 to $500 an acre. Improved lands in these sections bring from 
$600 to $900 per acre. In the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys unimproved 
land brings from $125 to $250 per acre and improved land brings from $300 
to $500. 

Developing. — There is quite a choice of locations and one should take into 
•Consideration climatic conditions in regard to one's personal comfort, price of 
land in various sections, returns from crop, amount of money to be invested, 
and income desired. The high priced land is found where the industry is highly 
developed and where living conditions are particularly desirable, as in the 
counties along the coast. Good prune land, not so high priced, can still be 
obtained along the streams in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. Still 
cheaper lands adapted to prunes, usually in small tracts, can be obtained in 
the foothill sections of the state. In all of these three general sections prune 
growing is usually beyond the experimental stage, so that with a given type of 
soil selected and the local experience in regard to varieties for that locality, 
one can proceed. The trees can be propagated in several ways, but budded 
trees are universally used. Several stocks may be used for various soil con- 
ditions, but experience has taught that the Myrobalan root is generally used, 
particularly if the soil is heavy or drainage conditions are bad. The peach 
and almond root are used considerably on the lighter soils and where the 
drainage is good. It is usually better to obtain trees from some reliable 
nursery firm, of which there are a great many in the state. The trees are 
planted in squares, rectangles, or triangles. The usual distance is twenty-two 
to twenty-six feet, depending on local conditions, varieties, etc. The general 
practice is to cut the tree back to a single stock twenty to twenty-four inches 
high at the time of planting, then shape the tree, by pruning, the next two 
or three years. Others do not prune at all, but let the tree grow as it will. 
The cultural methods will vary a little in different sections, but is not unlike 
the general care given other orchards in regard to plowing, cultivating, and 

Handling the Crop. — There are three general methods of handling the crop. 
These are governed usually by the size of the farm. The first and most common 
is the case of the owner who has ten or twenty acres and he and his family 
do all the work, with, perhaps, additional help ^t harvest time. The second 


class is of large tracts of from twenty to one hundred acres, which are handled 
almost entirely with hired labor. Third, the renter. In this case the land is 
rented for a cash rental, or on a crop basis, which is usually one-fourth to 
one-half for the owner and one-half to three-fourths to the renter. The labor 
is supplied chiefly by white people who live in the community and by transients, 
mostly Orientals, who are employed during the rush season. The fruit ripens 
on the tree and falls to the ground, when it is gathered, hauled to the dipping 
shed, dipped in a solution of lye, and placed on trays in the sun to dry. After 
the fruit has been dried it is put in sacks and sold to the large packing 
concerns or handled by the farmers' cooperative organizations. 

Insect Pests and Diseases. — The prune, like other fruit trees, is attacked by 
certain insects and diseases. The most serious insect pests are thrips, root 
borers, and red spider. The worst diseases are crown gall and gummosis. 

By John W. Gilmore, Professor of Agronomy 

The principal regions are in the delta lands of San Joaquin and Contra 
Costa counties and the Salinas Valley of Monterey County. Those desiring 
to investigate this industry would do well to visit the regions in the vicinity 
of Middle River, Holt and Stockton for the delta country; Blanco and Salinas 
(Monterey County) and Sebastopol (Sonoma County) for the other regions. 
There is, also, a considerable acreage in Los Angeles, Orange, Merced, Stanis- 
laus, and Napa counties 

The delta region consists of lowlands which for a long period of time have 
been inundated by the high waters of the'Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. 
They have been overgrown by juncus (tule) and other marsh plants. These 
marshes have been reclaimed by constructing levees along the water courses 
and then by electrically driven pumps the water has been removed to a level 
sufficiently low to grow crops. The soil consists of partly decomposed vegetable 
matter mixed with sediment from the overflows, and in this form it is loose 
and friable and permits the ready movement of water. The soil is well suited 
not only to potatoes, but to onions, asparagus, beans, and barley. 

Because this soil is very rich in organic matter and because of its loose 
texture and abundance of moisture diseases that affect the potato thrive 
readily. These do not often materially damage the first crop, but they are 
sufficiently prevalent to infest and multiply in the soil, so that future crops 
are often greatly reduced. The disease causing the most trouble is the Fusarium. 
It infests the soils from year to year, and while it affects the tubers, it does 
not render them unfit for use during the early part of the season. Its principal 
effect is upon the young shoots which, after becoming thoroughly diseased, die 
before the tubers are formed, but too late in the season for replanting. The 
only effective remedy against this disease now known is to plant the land to 
non-affected crops until the disease is starved out. It is estimated that this 
disease causes an annual loss to potato growers in this region of from 20 to 
25 per cent of the crop, or a money loss of nearly, if not fully, a million dollars. 

Other diseases, especially Rhizoctonia Scab and Leaks (Bhizopus), are 
common in this and most other regions. The first two diseases may be kept 
somewhat in control by treating the seed tubers in a solution of one pound 


formaldehyde to forty gallons of water for one and a half to two hours. This 
treatment, with care to secure clean seed and a judicious rotation of crops, is 
reasonably effective. The leaks is a disease that causes the tubers to rot with 
much odor and sometimes quite rapidly after they are dug. It enters the 
tubers through bruises caused in digging or handling. Care in these operations 
seems to be the only effective remedy. These diseases are not so prevalent 
in upland soils. 

In this region the land is generally plowed in the fall or winter and again 
at planting time. Planting begins in March and continues into June and some- 
times into July, though this is well known to be too late for good results. As 
a general rule the planting is accomplished by hand, dropping the seed pieces 
behind the plow every second or third round. As this is very strong land the 
potato crop is often affected by weeds and much of the labor of growing the 
crop is expended in their destruction. 

The yields in this section vary greatly. The factors which influence the 
yield are diseases, lack of storage facilities for seed and the culture methods, 
especially the preparation of the land and the rotation of crops. Because of 
these factors the yield varies from 65 to 750 bushels per acre. 

There is a tendency to grow potatoes continuously for as long a period as 
possible, for this crop pays better returns when not affected than most other 
crops. It has not been found possible to do this, however, without incurring 
greatly diminished yields. Consequently, successful potato growing in this 
region is contingent upon adopting culture methods, especially in respect to 
rotation crops that will keep the soil bare from the disease. 

Much of this land is held in large tracts and is usually rented at from $20 
to $35 an acre; or, when on shares, for one-third of the crop. The cash rental 
of land for potatoes, however, is the more usual method. Where labor is hired 
it is generally Japanese or Chinese and wages commonly paid are $2 to $2.50 
per day. The intrinsic value of these lands depends upon the prevalence of 
disease in the soil and the equipment of the farmer for using other crops 
profitably in rotation. But little of this land is for sale, but that which is 
for sale is held at from $300 to $500 per acre. 

A good deal of land in this section still remains to be reclaimed, but it 
can only be done at considerable expense and by companies or individuals not 
demanding immediate returns on the money invested. 

Salinas Valley. — The conditions under which potatoes are grown in this region 
are typical of other portions of the state. They differ, however, from those 
in the delta region, principally in respect to the nature of the soil and lesser 
prevalence of disease. The soil, on the other hand, is not so productive. The 
yields vary from 60 to 200 bushels per acre. The average is about 100 bushels, 
but on reasonably good land and by practicing good cultural methods, about 
150 bushels may be counted upon. In this section much of the potato land is 
rotated with sugar beets. The deep-rooted nature of both of these crops and 
the tillage methods keep the land in good tilth and in good producing capacity. 

In both of the sections mentioned potatoes are harvested both by hand and 
by machine diggers and are marketed in sacks weighing about 110 pounds. The 
price ranges from 90 cents to $1.65 per sack (50 cents to 90 cents per bushel). 

In any section of California the successful production of potatoes depends 
most largely upon the prevalence of a deep loam soil well supplied with moisture 
and free from disease infestation. The interior valleys, where the temperature 


during the growing season is excessively hot, must be avoided, for the potato 
thrives best in a cool soil. 

In the southern counties two crops per year are usually produced. The 
second crop is the more difficult to grow, mainly because of difficulties of 
securing a good stand and a vigorous growth during the warm weather. The 
second crop is planted from the middle of July to August 1st. Proper prepara- 
tion of the land, its cooling by irrigation and sprouting the seed are the principal 
factors upon which success depends. 

By W. W. Mackie, Assistant Professor of Agronomy 

Rice culture in California is one of the newer agricultural industries. 
Though started about ten years ago, the value of the rice crop now almost 
equals that of wheat. 

The three essentials for successful rice culture are (1) climate, (2) water, 
and (3) soil. The growing season for rice extends from the middle of April 
to the middle of October. Frost, which may be expected after October 15th 
and almost invariably after November 4th, effectively terminates growth and 
further maturing of the grain. 

Climatic conditions in California restrict the rice growing mainly to the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, with the exception of the delta regions, 
where the cool winds from the San Francisco Bay render the climate too cool 
in summer for successful rice culture. 

Water must be available continuously throughout the rice growing season. 
This limits the area available for rice to those regions whose irrigation systems 
have sufficient water available until the beginning of October. 

The rice fields of the Sacramento Valley are watered principally by the 
canals from the Feather Eiver, Cache Creek (supplied from Clear Lake), and 
canals supplied by water pumped from the Sacramento Eiver. The San Joaquin 
Valley lacks the late summer supply of gravity water, and produces limited 
amounts of rice. This is made up largely by pumping from wells, which is 
more costly than gravity water. 

About five acre-feet of water are required to produce a crop of rice under 
favorable conditions. If more than eight acre-feet are required, it is not likely 
that rice growing will be profitable. Gravity water costs from $5 to $10 per 
acre per annum and pumped water much more. 

Eice soils consist of clay loam, silt loam, or adobe, containing considerable 
organic matter. The subsoils are tenacious and retentive of water, and may 
or may not contain hardpan. 

The principal rice-producing counties in California are Butte, Colusa, Yolo, 
Glenn, Sutter, and Yuba, with small areas in Merced, Fresno, and Kern counties. 

Eice lands are fairly level and are prepared for irrigation by placing levees 
or borders on the contours at each fall of three and one-half inches. The borders 
are usually made by graders drawn by engines. 

Eice fields are plowed, harrowed, and drilled in the same manner as grain 
fields. From 100 to 120 pounds of seed are planted per acre at a depth of 


about one inch. The seeding begins about April 15th and ends by June 1st. 
Eice planted after May 20th is likely to be caught by the cool weather and rain 
in the fall. The best yields are secured by planting during the ten days follow- 
ing April 25th. A well-prepared seed bed is just as essential as for other grains. 

Irrigation water is required to sprout rice, as rain is seldom available. The 
date of the first irrigation is considered the date of planting, for rice seldom 
sprouts before the irrigation. The first irrigation thoroughly soaks the soil, 
after which from three to six slight irrigations may be necessary to keep the 
soil soft and wet until the rice attains a height of six to eight inches, about 
June 15th. After this the fields are kept continually flooded to a depth of six 
or eight inches until drained just before harvest in late September or October. 
The water is drained off before harvest slowly, because too rapid drainage 
causes the rice to fall and lodge. Ordinarily from six to ten days are required 
to dry out the soil sufficiently for harvesting operations. 

The rice is cut with a rice binder drawn by three to five animals, usually 
assisted by an attached gasoline engine which operates the machinery. An 
average of three acres per day is considered fair, while five acres may be cut 
under favorable conditions. Within one or two days the rice is shocked. After 
an interval of ten days or more the bundles are hauled directly to the thresher. 
Eice is never stacked for fear of rain damage. One binder is required for sixty 
acres and one thresher for about four hundred acres. 

The rices grown in California are of the Japanese short grain varieties, 
which are heavy yielders. In the Sacramento Valley a yield of 3500 pounds 
per acre of rough rice is considered satisfactory, although under favorable 
conditions 6000 pounds per acre have been produced. Eice lands yield best 
the first year and then rapidly deteriorate until the third or fourth year, when 
the land becomes foul with weeds and is abandoned for a period. On this 
account the majority of the rice farmers prefer to rent land rather than to 
purchase it. 

The rice lands of the Sacramento Valley rent from $15 to $25 per acre 
per annum, depending upon the nature of the soil and the age of the rice 
field. The water is usually furnished by the land owner. Where share rentals 
are asked the tenant gives one-fourth to one-third of the crop. 

The cost of growing and marketing a rice crop varies from $35 to $50 per 
acre, varying with the cost of water, labor and seasonal conditions. This high 
cost necessitates the production of a good crop if decided profits are to be made. 

The greatest pests of the rice fields are water grass, blackbirds, and ducks. 
Water grass exists in all rice fields, but the best growers hand-pull to clean 
their fields in order that they may continue to grow rice. Water grass is a 
far more serious problem than the depletion of the soil fertility. Only the 
cleanest seed should be planted. Eed rice in seed should be eliminated, as it 
shatters and volunteers in the next crop. 

The rice growers of California are organized and have largely handled their 
products through the Pacific Eice Growers' Association, with offices at Sac- 

The rice industry in the state is well equipped, with large rice mills situated 
at Biggs, Gridley, Sacramento, Woodland, and San Francisco. 


By I. J. Condit, Assistant Professor of Citriculture 

In addition to citrus fruits, olives and figs, the following semi-tropical 
fruits are now being grown in California and are of sufficient importance to 
warrant commercial plantings: Pomegranate, feijoa, loquat, Japanese persim- 
mon, avocado, carob, and date. All these crops require irrigation. 

The pomegranate thrives in all the interior valleys of California, there 
being at present over 150 acres. The Wonderful is by far the best variety for 
market. The pomegranate bushes are resistant to alkali, but they cannot be 
expected to produce the best quality fruit on soils strongly alkaline. On account 
of the common habit of splitting, the fruit of most varieties of pomegranates 
must be picked before it is fully mature. The fruits continue to ripen well if 
placed in cold storage, and there they will keep in excellent condition for 
several months, becoming richer and more vinous in flavor and better in quality. 
Growers should pay especial attention to such products as bottled juice and 

The feijoa is closely related to the guava, being sometimes known as the 
pineapple guava. The plants are hardy, not being injured by a temperature 
as low as 5° F. The greatest obstacle in the way of extension of feijoa plant- 
ings at present is the lack of good stock. Seedlings are variable in produc- 
tiveness and in shape, size, and quality of fruit. Grafted stock should be more 
plentiful in a few more seasons. 

The loquat is one of our neglected fruits. Experience in the last few 
years has shown that the fruit can be profitably grown if the right varieties 
are planted in a protected situation. The Thales, Champagne, and Advance 
are all good varieties for market on account of large size and uniformity of 
fruit. The tree blooms during the late fall and early winter, and must therefore 
be planted where the blossoms and fruit will escape frost injury. If carefully 
handled the fruit keeps and ships well even to distant markets, the wholesale 
prices ranging from a few cents up to 25 or even 30 cents a pound. 

The kaki, or Oriental persimmon, is a deciduous tree and is therefore not 
so liable to frost injury. Experience has shown that California grown trees 
are preferable to those imported from Japan on account of the former having 
a better root system. Trees propagated on the lotus stock (Diospyros lotus) 
are showing excellent results in the orchard; those on the American persimmon 
root are vigorous, but the stock has a tendency to sucker. Persimmon trees 
fruit well except in the very coldest sections of the state. The crop is earliest 
in the hot interior valleys, but later fruits grown along the coast are of 
excellent quality and are marketable to good advantage during November and 
December when other fresh fruits are not so plentiful. The Hachiya is leading 
in popularity for commercial plantings, while the Tanenashi is a close second. 

The avocado industry is passing from the experimental stage into that of 
an assured success, at least in parts of southern California. Large orchards 
are in bearing and fruits are being marketed in quantity. The question of 
varieties is still a critical one, but the list has been shortened to six or eight 
approved by the California Avocado Association. Avocado trees are not par- 
ticular as to soil as long as drainage is good. They vary in their climatic 
requirements according to the race to which they belong. In general, it can 


be said that so far as minimum temperatures are concerned trees of the Mexican 
race should thrive wherever the orange tree thrives, trees of the Guatemalan 
race wherever the lemon thrives, while trees of the tropical West Indian race 
can be grown only in the most protected and frost-free localities. 

The carob, or St. Johns Bread, like the loquat, blooms and sets fruit during 
the fall and winter. In order to insure a profitable crop, therefore, planting 
should be restricted to the foothill sections where frosts are not severe. Most 
carob trees produce male or female flowers only. Some varieties, however, 
bear perfect flowers, and such are preferable for commercial planting. The 
pods, produced in September and October, are rich in sugar and make excellent 
cattle feed. 

Date growing in a commercial way is restricted to parts of the Imperial and 
the Coachella valleys. The growth of the industry has been hampered by 
scarcity of desirable offshoots for planting. The variety Deglet Nur is in 
greatest demand as a confectionery date, while Thuri is being planted for a dry 
or bread date. 

By R. L. Adams, Associate Professor of Agronomy 

Sugar beet culture is confined to the vicinity of sugar beet factories, their 
culture seldom proving profitable at a distance greater than one hundred miles 
from a factory. Their growing can therefore best be investigated in the 
territory surrounding the factories at Alvarado, Anaheim, Betteravia, Chino, 
Hamilton City, Huntington Beach, Oxnard, Spreckels, Santa Ana, and Visalia. 

Since the first six to eight tons of beets produced are required to pay the 
cost of production, only soils capable of yielding good crops should be selected. 
Soils should be avoided which are shallow, poorly drained, of poor texture, high 
in alkali, lacking in plant food or humus, or incapable of adequately supplying 
the moisture requirements of the crop. 

Land for sugar beets usually commands high prices — $200 or more per acre — 
but can be rented on a share or cash basis, the former requiring as payment one- 
fourth or one-fifth of the crop, the latter about $20 per acre. Where sugar 
beets are the primary crop the farms range from 60 to 400 acres in size. As 
a rule, however, 100 acres may be considered the unit farm. 

Sugar beet culture requires a high grade of work stock and special equip- 
ment, amounting in all to from $2000 to $3000 for each hundred acres. 

Land to go in sugar beets should be put in a fine state of cultivation, by 
the complete eradication of former crops — as alfalfa, or the subjection of raw 
conditions — as preceding beets with some other crop on newly broken lands. 
It is essential to plow as deeply as is consistent with the past handling of the 
land, and to work down to a fine, firm seed bed. The common practice is to do 
the bulk of the heavy work in the fall after applying an irrigation, or early 
in the rainy season after sufficient moisture falls to start the weeds and bring 
the soil into the proper condition for working. The land is ©ccasionally worked 
over until seeding time, which ranges from November to May, depending on 
the section, the bulk of the seeding, however, being done in February and March. 

The seed is drilled with machines rented from the factories. These seeders 
plant either four or eight rows at a time at distances varying from 18 to 28 
inches, the 22-inch and 24-inch sizes being popular. 


Cultivation starts as soon as the rows can be seen and is repeated as con- 
ditions demand until the crop is laid by. When the plants have four true leaves 
they are thinned to distances which leave the remaining plants at from eight to 
twenty-four inches apart, the distance depending on the strength of the soil and 
the available moisture — the most common distance being ten to fourteen inches. 

Irrigation is given to supply ample moisture during the growing periods 
with a lessening amount at time of maturing. Some lands need but a single 
irrigation previous to seeding to carry the crop through, while others require 
several applications during the growing period of the plants. 

When the leaves turn yellow and a test indicates a satisfactory degree of 
maturity the beets are ready for digging. Specially designed plows loosen 
either one, two or more rows at a time, when the beets are pulled, several rows 
thrown together, topped at the junction of the green top with the creamy 
yellow root, and hauled or shipped at once to the factory. 

The work of thinning, hoeing weeds, cleaning ditches, pulling, topping, and 
loading the beets is ordinarily done by Japanese, Hindus, or Mexicans working 
on a day or contract basis — the sliding scale contract based on tonnage pro- 
duced with bonus provision as a rule giving the best mutual satisfaction. The 
contract price ranges from 85 cents to over $2 per ton, according to the yield 
per acre, with a general average price of perhaps $1.50. 

The beets are delivered to the factory under a contract drawn up previous 
to planting, under the terms of which, among other things, the factory agrees 
to accept all beets coming up to a certain standard — usually set at a minimum 
of 12 per cent sugar content and 80 per cent purity, with a maximum weight 
limit of four pounds. These beets are paid for on either a tonnage basis or 
on the sugar content at prices designated at the time the contract is drawn. 

Each factory employs the service of a thoroughly trained agriculturist, who 
stands ready to advise and assist all growers in every possible way. 

For further information see California Agricultural Experiment Circular 
No. 165, entitled " Fundamentals of Sugar Beet Culture under California 
Conditions, " by E. L. Adams, which will be sent upon application free of 


By S. S. Eogers, Associate Professor of Olericulture 

Truck production holds an important position in California agriculture. 
California grown vegetables may be found in all of the large cities of the 
United States and to some extent in Canada. 

The requirements for a successful vegetable garden are so exacting that 
congenial soil, moisture, and climatic conditions for the crops to be grown 
should exist. 

The supply of all vegetables is subject to sudden and wide fluctuations 
upon the markets making it imperative for the grower to determine carefully 
the proper time for planting and harvesting the various crops. 

The largest centers for vegetable production are located in the river delta 
situated between Stockton and Antioch, at Sacramento, at Imperial, at San 
Francisco, in Orange County, in Los Angeles County, and in certain sections 
of the San Joaquin Valley, especially between the cities of Modesto and Merced. 


The most favorable soil and climatic conditions depend wholly upon the 
crops to be grown, but a mild climate and rich sandy loam are the most 
desirable for the production of the majority of them. 

Practically all vegetables in California are grown under irrigation and it 
is very important that the water be applied at such intervals that the amount 
of soil moisture should be as constant as possible. When irrigating most crops 
the water should not be allowed to come in contact with the plants and it is best 
to apply the water in a large number of furrows allowing it to flow slowly, rather 
than to use a small number of furrows allowing it to run swiftly. 

There is a common tendency to substitute irrigation for cultivation. This 
practice should be avoided. When surface irrigation is practiced the soil 
should be well leveled before planting. 

As a rule the novice does not appreciate the value of a well prepared seed 
bed. Too much importance cannot be placed upon the necessity for thorough 
working of the soil before planting any vegetable crop. 

The most desirable size of truck farm depends upon the location, crops 
to be grown, financial condition of the grower, amount of water available, 
and the labor supply. 

It is possible to realize a net income of from $1000 to $1500 per year from 
five acres of garden properly managed and in a suitable location but ordinarily 
one should have at least ten acres to be reasonably sure of a satisfactory 
remuneration. Many of the truck growers in California produce from twenty- 
five to one hundred acres of vegetables annually, and in some sections the 
amount of land farmed by one individual comprises several hundred acres. 
In these larger gardens are produced celery, asparagus, onions, and potatoes. 
Suitable land for vegetable growing can be obtained in practically all sections 
of California which are level and under irrigation. The purchase price of such 
land varies from $150 to $2000 per acre. One may, however, procure suitable 
land in a desirable locality for between $200 to $500 per acre. The annual 
land rentals vary from $20 to $80 per acre, cash, or from one-quarter to one-half 
of the crop, depending upon the vegetables grown and equipment furnished 
by the owner. The labor is generally done by Japanese, Chinese, Italians, 
Hindoos and Mexicans, and the prevailing prices during the past year varied 
from thirty-five cents to forty-five cents per hour, with an average range from 
thirty-seven and a half to forty cents per hour. 

The most desirable method of marketing depends upon the location, size 
of garden, and kind of vegetables grown. For small amounts the stores and 
hotels would be the most desirable provided the garden is situated within 
hauling distance of the markets. For the larger grower, especially if the 
vegetables are produced a considerable distance from the market, the crops 
are best handled in carload lots. 

By S. S. Rogers, Associate Professor of Olericulture 

Owing chiefly to the European conditions, vegetable seed production has 
increased enormously in California, so that at the present time large amounts 
of practically all of the common vegetable seeds are being produced. 

The most serious losses are caused in certain sections by hot winds which 


frequently burn and shatter considerable quantities of seed. Occasionally not 
a little difficulty is experienced in planting at the propert time due to unfavor- 
able weather conditions and shortage of experienced labor. 

Regions. — The principal vegetable seed growing centers are located near 
the cities of Sacramento and Stockton, and in the Santa Clara Valley between 
the cities of Palo Alto and Hollister. Bermuda onion seed is grown in the 
Cochella Valley, Riverside County. 

Soil. — Vegetable seed is produced on a very large variety of soils ranging 
from adobe to peat. The most suitable soil is a rich loam. 

Moisture. — A large percentage of the crop is produced under irrigation and 
it is especially desirable to have a suitable amount of moisture in the soil 
from March to June, inclusive. The water is applied either in furrows 
between the rows of plants, or allowed to sub-irrigate from permanent ditches. 

Climate. — Vegetable seeds do best in a moderate climate but are being 
successfully produced in the hot interior valleys under suitable irrigation 

Methods. — The planting is done principally during the months of November 
to February inclusive, and the crops mature during the months of July and 
August. For such crops as beets, carrots, parsnips, mangel, chard, etc., the 
bulbs are set three feet by three feet, or four feet by four feet apart. Lettuce, 
radish, mustard, peas., etc., are drilled in rows from two and one-half to three 
feet apart. Onions are usually placed six inches apart in rows three feet apart. 

One should be certain that the soil is rich and that a suitable irrigation 
system is available before planting. 

The size of the seed farms varies from a few acres up to several hundred. 
One person with the necessary labor can best handle from forty to sixty acres. 

Vegetable seed is being produced on land ranging in price from $100 to 
$1000 or more per acre, but the usual value of lands so used range from $200 
to $500 per acre. The rents range between $20 and $50 per acre cash, or from 
one-fourth to one-half the crop, depending upon the amount of capital and 
equipment furnished by the owner. 

Most of the hand labor is done by Chinese, Japanese, Hindoos, or Mexicans, 
and the average wage paid during the past season varied from thirty-five to 
forty cents per hour. 

For the beginner who has not become known to the seed trade it is generally 
disastrous to attempt to grow seeds except under contract made before the 
planting. The seed contracts are usually made from June to August preceding 
the year of delivery. 

By Ralph E. Smith, Professor of Plant Pathology 

Soil and Climate. — Fairly heavy soil is needed and walnut culture is not 
advisable on that which is of coarse sand, dry, shallow, or ' ' alkali. ' ' The best 
soils are six feet or more in depth to water, hardpan, sand, or other unfavorable 
strata, and well drained. 

Climatic disadvantages are late spring frosts and extreme summer heat. 
Different varieties are adapted to various conditions in these respects, if not 


too extreme. Walnuts require a considerable amount of water. They can 
be grown without irrigation in some places, but it is usually better to have 

Districts. — The principal walnut orchards of the state are located between 
Santa Barbara and Santa Ana. The industry is now developing in some of the 
northern counties. Santa Ana, El Monte, and Santa Barbara are important 
centers of production, while San Jose, Walnut Creek, Stockton, and Santa Rosa 
represent the northern districts. 

Culture. — The first essential is a proper choice of variety for a given locality; 
the beginner should seek reliable advice from the Agricultural Experiment 
Station. The northern California black walnut is the usual root. The older 
groves of the state are of seedling trees, but these are no longer planted. 
Franquette, Concord, Placentia, and Eureka are the best varieties. Promising 
new varieties are appearing. Trees cost from 75 cents to $2 each. Some plant 
black walnuts in orchard form to top graft later; this method is of advantage 
where no irrigation can be practiced. Planting distances average 50 X 50 feet, 
requiring seventeen trees per acre. Young orchards may be interplanted with 
alfalfa, tree or small fruits, vegetables, or other crops, provided plenty of 
water is available. Producing orchards are usually plowed in spring, irrigated 
in June, August and in winter if the rainfall is short, cultivated after irrigation 
and occasionally between. Little pruning or fertilization is practiced, although 
desirable in older orchards. Spraying is commencing to be practiced in some 
sections against two pests, the blight and aphis. Walnuts should pay expenses 
by the fifth year after planting and reach good bearing at ten. The production 
should continue to increase for many years; the tree is long-lived and fairly 

Harvesting. — The nuts ripen in September and October and are picked from 
the ground after light shaking of the trees. They are then dried in the sun, 
bleached and graded. In the south, most of the growers belong to cooperative 
associations with central packing houses, where the nuts are bleached, graded 
and shipped. 

Marketing. — The demand for walnuts is greater than the supply. Prices are 
established by the association and the crop sold through brokers. Independent 
growers easily sell to private customers. 

Cost of Production. — Production expenses vary from $25 to $75 per acre, 
averaging between these figures. Taxes and interest on the investment must 
be added. 

Returns. — Groves average 1000 pounds of nuts per acre per year, with an 
average selling price of 18 cents per pound for all grades and sizes. The 
better groves frequently produce 2000 pounds per acre and average 25 cents 
per pound. Greater returns are exceptional. This gives a net income of say 
$80 to $200 per acre. Orchards average from ten to forty acres. 

Cost of Orchards and Land. — Walnut orchards in southern California can be 
bought for $700 to $2000 per acre. One thousand dollars is an average price. 
In this section good bare land with water costs at least $400 per acre and 
usually more. In the central or northern portion of the state $150 to $300 per 
acre are average prices for desirable land with irrigation possibilities. 

Labor. — The crop is well adapted to a working family. Father or sons can 
do the heavy work, while women and children can pick up the nuts. 


Troubles. — These are due principally to sandy or shallow soil, lack of water, 
improper varieties, bad treatment, injurious climatic conditions, and the disease 
called blight. These conditions can be largely avoided by proper choice of 
locality and varieties, and good culture. 

By Gordon H. True, Professor of Animal Husbandry 

California ranges are naturally grouped in three or four classes on the 
basis of different systems of handling stock due to different climatic condi- 
tions. In the first class fall those ranges in the northern part of the state 
where cattle are grazed in the mountains during the summer, pastured during 
the fall on enclosed meadows or pastures, and fed hay during the winter. 
Calves are dropped throughout the year in most cases, but it is considered 
better practice not to have them begin to come before February and March. 
From these ranges cattle are sold in the fall either as fat cattle or feeders. 
In the second class are all those where cattle are, as in the first class, grazed 
in the mountains in the summer, but depend on the natural forage of foothill 
ranges for fall, winter, and early spring feed. From the herds of these 
ranges cattle may be sold in market condition twice a year — off the mountain 
ranges in the fall and from the foothill ranges in the spring. Normally no 
hay is fed. Calves are dropped throughout the year. The third class is that 
in which cattle run on the same ranges throughout the year. When winters 
are not severe the rains of that season bring on the feed that makes fat cattle 
for summer market. To these three might be added a fourth class where the 
uncultivated valley lands are used as range, and supplemented by the grazing 
on the vast areas of stubble fields available after grain harvest in June and 

Of the vast range areas of the state some 19,250,000 acres are grazed under 
the supervision of the National Forest Service. On these lands the grazing 
fee is at the rate of twelve cents a month for grown animals, and it is esti- 
mated that from ten acres up are required to carry one animal for six months. 
Similar grazing lands under private ownership lease at about three times the 
above rate. 

California has become accustomed to a grass-fat cattle market, and no 
general provision has been developed in the agricultural practice of the state 
for taking a part in the production of its beef supply, except as the stubble 
fields frequently leased for the purpose are used in a limited way for the 
maintenance of stock cattle through a part of the season of short feed on the 
ranges. A few men have fed hay to market cattle, and a still smaller number 
have begun to feed for market on hay and silage. In some cases grain or 
cottonseed cake has been fed in a manner comparable to practice in the 
middle west. 

Experiments in the feeding of steers on alfalfa hay only, conducted at the 
Oregon and at the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Stations, show average 
daily gains of from less than a pound to one and one-half pounds at a cost of 
from 8.48 cents to 11.36 cents a pound with alfalfa at $6 a ton, the addition 
of grain to the ration giving a higher cost of gain. 


The profit in feeding depends not alone on the cost of gain but upon the 
spread between the prices at which the cattle are bought and sold. This spread 
has never been great enough to encourage either cattlemen to buy feed to fat- 
ten their cattle, or the farmer to buy cattle to fatten on his home-grown feed. 

The valley farms of this state, however, are depended upon by range 
cattlemen for the production of the pure-bred bulls used in the range herds. 
There are approximately 8000 head of cattle in the pure-bred herds of the 
state producing not to exceed 2000 bulls a year. There are in the range herds 
1,700,000 cattle. If one-fifth of these are breeding cows there should be in 
use 75,000 head of bulls, one-half to one-third of which should be replaced 
every year. Bulls for the range should bring from $100 at weaning to $250 
and up for older bulls according to quality. 

By Gordon H. True, Professor of Animal Husbandry 

Sheep are kept in California under three main sets of conditions: On the 
unfenced public or private ranges where they run in bands of two to three 
thousand head; on fenced mountain ranches of a few thousand acres, and on 
valley farms where cultivated crops form part of the feed, and other farm 
activities may or may not be carried on. 

For use on the open ranges where sheep are run in large bands under the 
care of a single herder and his dogs, a preponderance of fine-wool blood- 
Merino or Eambouillet is necessary on account of the natural banding instinct 
of this class of sheep. 

Sheep run on the open range move constantly from one feeding ground to 
another. As the snow melts and green feed starts in the mountains the sheep 
are moved to keep pace with the coming of the new feed. Lambing takes 
place in the spring, usually in March or April. It is not customary to provide 
shelter though it has been found profitable to do so. Flocks lambing in sheds 
have raised as high as 140 per cent of lambs, while losses in the open are 
often 40 to 65 per cent in case of bad weather at lambing time. The flock 
is shorn once a year before lambing in the spring. The average clip is about 
six pounds of wool. The increase may be marketed as lambs when the range 
is good, but more frequently they are carried on to be sold as yearlings. 
Lambs weighing eighty pounds sold last year at from $10 to $12. Under 
pre-war conditions $5 was considered a fair price. 

Sheep are especially adapted for grazing over rough land of scanty herbage. 
They eat many plants not eaten by cattle. On farms they keep down weeds 
and other volunteer growth along ditch banks, lanes, and on summer fallow. 
As hogs consume waste grain, fruit, and dairy by-products, so sheep use what 
would otherwise be waste roughage on the farm. 

In the valleys where they run on stubble-fields, it is the practice to shear 
twice a year, in March and September, otherwise once a year in spring. The 
clip will run from six pounds to twelve pounds a head, some fine-wool ewes 
shearing as high as sixteen to twenty pounds. It is good practice to dip sheep 
after shearing. 


Thin lambs may be bought and fattened for market by running them on 
stubble for three or four weeks and then feeding hay and grain for two or 
three months. On full feed lambs should eat two pounds of hay and one 
pound of grain a day, and gain from one-fourth to one-third of a pound in 
weight. Ewes may be wintered on hay and volunteer growth, with some grain 
at lambing-time. Cull or damaged beans are especially relished by sheep. 

A pure-bred ram of good type should always be used. The period of 
gestation is five months, and the natural breeding time is September or 
October. Neither ewes nor rams should be used for breeding under a year 
old. The ram should not run with the flock, but be turned with the ewes for a 
short time each day. During the breeding season he should be fed some grain. 

Expensive buildings are not required for sheep. But they need protection 
from rain. The dog is the sheep's worst enemy, and where there is danger 
sheep should be put in dog-proof corrals at night. One should see and count 
the flock every day. 


By J. I. Thompson, Assistant Professor of Animal Husbandry 

Hogs are raised for market in California as adjuncts to four different main 
lines of business: Grain farming, alfalfa growing, dairy farming, and fruit 

The grain farmers raise their hogs primarily on grass and waste products 
until the barley or wheat has been harvested. Then the hogs are turned into 
the stubble-fields to gather up the scattered grain and unthreshed heads. When 
winds have been severe after the grain is ripe, or when the combined har- 
vester is not properly operated, the amount of grain available for the hogs is 
considerable. By this system a two-hundred pound hog is normally produced 
in about twenty months, but the margin of profit is reasonable because most 
of the feed used would otherwise be wasted. Hogs raised under this system 
may be marketed direct from the stubble-fields, but are usually fed a full 
ration of barley in a dry lot for three or four weeks, and are then sent to 

Alfalfa growers, who are not dairymen, sometimes grow hogs to harvest 
a part of the alfalfa. They may or may not raise their own grain. Some 
of these establishments produce from five hundred up to several thousand 
hogs a year. This system is the least stable of the four, for the price of 
grain fluctuates quite independently of the price of hogs. Because of this 
fact, there are many "ins and outs" under this system. Some growers prefer 
to use a maximum amount of alfalfa and a minimum amount of grain. Some 
feed no grain at all when pasture is abundant, while others feed from one to 
two pounds for each one hundred pounds of hog. In either case the hogs 
are full fed on barley at the finish until sufficient weight and condition is 

Most dairy farmers who do not sell whole milk, feed the skim milk to 
hogs. This class has increased in number quite rapidly in the past six years, 
and will no doubt continue to do so unless the demand for skim milk for 
other uses forces the price too high. Some barley is fed, and in most cases 
alfalfa pasture is used. 


Fruit growers have found hogs a valuable adjunct to their business, not 
only to clean up their cull fruit, but to harvest and convert into fertilizer 
alfalfa and similar crops. Some grain is fed most of the time, the pigs being 
finished on barley, or sold as feeders to grain farmers. 

Up to the present year the state hardly produced as much pork as it con- 
sumed, but just now supply and demand are about equal. Quality varies 
enormously, but the top 30 per cent now compares favorably with the il corn- 
belt ' ' product. Better breeding stock and more careful feeding are needed to 
further improve the quality. 

Self-feeders are generally used when it is desired to full-feed the hogs, 
but when it is desired to secure a reasonable rate of gain and utilize some- 
what more alfalfa, a grain ration of three pounds for each one hundred 
pounds of pork gives satisfactory results. Tankage or cocoanut meal fed in 
self-feeders are generally used as protein supplements to barley when skim 
milk is not available. 

The number of pure-bred herds in the state is increasing steadily, but there 
is need of more general use of pure-bred sires in average herds before the 
supply of pure-bred boars is absorbed. The demand for pure-bred sows is 
excellent and is increasing. The principal breeds are Berkshire, Duroc-Jersey, 
and Poland-China, but a considerable number of Chester-Whites and Hamp- 
shires are to be found, also some Tamworths and Yorkshires. 

The long growing season is a decided advantage in pork production. In 
the irrigated sections alfalfa is available about nine months of the year, and 
on medium to large ranches, volunteer pasture is to be had for the other 
three months. The mildness of the climate in the majority of the area makes 
it entirely feasible to produce two litters of pigs each year. In fact, fall- 
farrowed pigs often thrive better than those farrowed in the summer. Feb- 
ruary, March, and April are the most desirable months for spring-farrow; 
September and October for fall-farrow. No months are especially undesirable, 
except perhaps July and August for the large interior valleys. 

The chief handicaps of the industry are:, A market somewhat lacking in 
classification and affected by the limited outlet for some of the pork products. 
At present the market demand for hams and bacon is entirely out of propor- 
tion to the demand for many of the fresh cuts of pork and for lard. 

Another handicap is the relatively high cost of carbohydrate or fattening 
feeds. Barley is the principal grain used, but it seems to require from 10 
per cent to 20 per cent more of it to produce one hundred pounds of pork than 
of Indian corn. The pork thus produced is entirely satisfactory if too much 
alfalfa is not used, or if the hogs are given a reasonable feed of grain all 
of the time and not forced to live on green feed alone for a considerable period. 

Where irrigation is practiced, making it possible to grow a crop of milo 
or kafir corn following a cereal grain crop, the cost of production, due to a 
long growing season and relatively cheap protein feeds, may be somehwat less 
than in the corn belt. 

The production of higher quality hogs and the continuous efforts of every- 
one interested to bring about more satisfactory market conditions are having 
the desired effect, and the industry is at present reasonably profitable. 

The chief expansion of the industry will probably be through an increase 
in the alfalfa acreage. One acre of alfalfa is the average unit for each brood 
sow. Generally speaking, ranches of twenty acres or less will need to produce 


some pure-breds, some of which are to be marketed as breeding animals, for 
the price of grain is likely to be so high at times as to leave too small a 
margin where only market hogs are produced. The surest and most constant 
profit is to be expected where the hogs fit into a general livestock and farming 

By E. C. Voorhies, Assistant Professor of Animal Husbandry 

Milch goats are kept for three main purposes: For family milk supply, for 
the raising of breeding stock, and for the production of milk or cheese for 
the market. 

Milk is usually sold to hospitals or to private families for invalid or infant 
feeding. It is evaporated and canned by a California firm and sold to drug 
stores for the above purposes. 

For the family milk supply two does bred to freshen at different times in 
the year may be depended upon to furnish a constant milk supply of from one 
to three or four quarts a day. When goat's milk is retailed for hospital or 
infant feeding the usual price is 25 cents a quart. 

Cheese is made on a commercial scale only in a very small way. 

The three leading breeds of milch goats are the Toggenberg, Saanen, and 
Anglo-Nubian. Common goats or grades of the above breeds constitute the 
greater number. 

Pure-bred goats sell at prices ranging from $75 to $750 each; grades from 
$15 to $75 each, or even more in the case of mature does of known high 

Does may be fed upon clean vegetable waste from the kitchen, and upon 
such volunteer growth as may be available in backyard, lawn, or vacant lots. 
This feed should be supplemented by hay and grain to such an extent as to 
insure a constant supply of nourishing feed. Ordinarily commercial grain 
feeds, such as barley, oats, bran, dried beet pulp, or commercial mixed feeds 
may be fed to advantage. 

The following would be suitable grain rations: 

Parts by 
Ration No. 1 

Boiled barley or ground milo 1 

Oats 1 

Eation No. 2 

Dried beet pulp 1 

Eolled barley 1 

Wheat bran 1 

In the case of raising pure-bred stock for sale, one should keep authentic 
records of milk production, as values are based upon such records as in the 
case of dairy cattle. A high-class pure-bred doe should give at least a gallon 
of milk a day during the flush of her milking period. 

Young stock may be raised on rough hill pastures not suitable for the 
grazing of larger animals. The goats make use of browse to a larger extent 
than other animals, making brush available for their use. 


The period of gestation in goats is, like that of sheep, approximately five 
months. While does will breed at a much younger age, it is counted the best 
practice to have them freshen at about two years of age. 

Bucks should not be kept anywhere near the milking herd. 

While there is a difference in the flavor of milk of goats and that of cows, 
this difference is not sufficient to be detected by many people. 


By H. E. Van Norman, Professor of Dairy Management and Dean of the 
University Farm School. 

The man who starts a dairy herd is starting a 365-day job, and he should 
have enough cows and sufficiently high producers to make it worth while to be 
on hand at the right time, with the right feed, and to have facilities for the 
proper care of the product and to produce enough of it to pay to seek a favor- 
able market. If these conditions cannot be met, it is better to limit the 
number of cows to the few that will supply the family needs. 

One man on a forty-acre ranch can milk and care for eight to twelve cows 
and do all the work except putting up the hay. With the major portion in 
alfalfa, the balance in garden, fruit, poultry or hogs, one man will be kept 
profitably busy feeding his cows and other animals, with a surplus of feed 
for sale. 

A California professional milker will milk and feed a string of thirty to 
thirty-five cows, and possibly haul the milk or cream to the creamery or ship- 
ping station. By the employment of one milker the number of cows may be 
increased to thirty or thirty-five and the owner is free from the daily chore 
of milking, except in time of labor shortage. Two strings of cows with two 
milkers and the employer doing the outside work on fifty to seventy-five acres 
makes an attractive unit, especially if one man is married and can board the 
other, relieving the owner's home of this task. 

Ordinarily, a location where dairying is already a growing industry, with 
market assured, is desirable. Humboldt County, San Joaquin, Imperial and 
northern Sacramento valleys are prominent dairy sections with creameries for 
markets. San Francisco Bay region, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and in lesser 
degrees the territory adjacent to the smaller cities, are producing milk for the 
city milk trade, while the southern coast region is noted for its cheese pro- 
duction and many less conspicuous localities afford excellent alfalfa land and 
good markets. Occasionally, a growing city inadequately supplied offers a 
good market for city milk. 

One acre of good alfalfa and silage should support one cow a year. Any 
cow capable of producing thirty or more pounds of milk a day should have 
some grain feed in addition to alfalfa or alfalfa and silage. A silo is proving 
a profitable investment for most dairymen, furnishing succulent feed to sup- 
plement the dry hay. It may be a Farm Bureau type, costing $1.50 to $2 per 
ton capacity, a stave silo at $2.50 to $4 or a hollow tile, or concrete block, or 
monolithic at $5.50 to $7. Properly made, one will preserve silage as well as 
the other, but their durability and life is in the order named. 


For a 12 cow dairy a silo 12 X 24. 

For a 25-30 cow dairy a silo 14 X 32. 

For a 50-60 cow dairy a silo 18 X 36 or 2 each 14 X 32. 

In most dairy sections a silage cutter may be hired for filling the silo or if 
not available must be purchased at a cost of $200 and up, while a tractor can 
usually be rented to run it. 

For the purchase of cows seek the dairy section where cow-testing associa- 
tion records* are available and buy good cows. The extra $15 or $20 spent for 
a cow that will produce 275 to 300 pounds of fat per year is a far better 
investment than twice that saved on a cow that yields only 175 to 200 pounds, 
for the first $50 or $60 of gross income only pays for the feed the good or poor 
cow eats. Join the cow-testing association or the testing department of the 
Farm Bureau. If neither is available weigh and test the milk of each cow 
in the herd every month, for it does not pay to keep poor cows at present 
prices of feed and labor. Use only a pure-bred sire with a record of at least 
400 to 500 pounds of fat per year by his dam. Select one from a family that 
has the habit of transmitting its producing ability to the next generation. 
Select a sire and if possible grade cows of the breed that predominates in your 
community. Some sections are given largely to Jerseys and Jersey grades, 
while in others the Holstein predominates, while pure-bred herds of these 
breeds as well as Guernsey and Ayrshire are scattered well over the state. 
Proximity of a pure-bred herd or herds is a great advantage to the new 
breeder, as soon as he has animals for sale, for it brings visitors to his neigh- 

The larger the number of cattle of one breed in a neighborhood, the higher 
the price and greater the demand for the surplus animals. This is true whether 
grades or pure-breds are raised and is especially advantageous if the latter are 
raised in large numbers. Save the heifer calves from the good cows and the 
pure-bred sire. Dispose of the others as soon as practicable. 

Clean, cold milk and cream are essential to secure highest market prices. 
Therefore, provide a clean place to milk, free from dust, arrange for prompt 
cooling of the milk as low as possible — to 50° F. is desirable and 60° to 65° 
is essential. Boiling water, or more convenient but not necessary, steam, 
for washing so arranged that it is easy to do the work right should be provided 
for a task that must be performed twice every day. Market milk for city 
distribution or condensing, usually nets the most cash. Sweet cream for 
ice-cream next, then milk for cheese and cream for butter-making last. How- 
ever, the sale of cream and wise feeding of skimmilk to good calves or pigs 
has the least exactions to meet and in the long run is apt to be the most profit- 
able type of dairying, as it takes the least fertility from the farm. 

If there are children in the family ten years of age or over, give them a 
profit-sharing part in the daily routine of the dairy — their regular task is good 
for them, the income encourages them. Encourage starting a savings account 
and funds for education will be available in due time. 

Finally, the renter of land and buildings will need $4000 to $4500 for cows, 
teams, tools, etc., to get started. The purchaser of land will need in addition 
to the above amount whatever he must put into the first payment on land 
and home, and $100 per cow for stabling and corrals. 


By J. E. Dougherty, Associate Professor of Poultry Husbandry 

Two factors weigh most heavily in the location of a poultry farm: (1) 
nearness to good markets, (2) available supply and net cost of feed. Poultry 
and eggs being perishable products which must be shipped expeditiously, fre- 
quently and at low cost, favorable transportation facilities and -nearness to 
good markets are necessary. Being located, however, in a grain growing area 
where grain can be bought direct from the nearby harvest fields at lowest 
wholesale prices will often more than offset increased distance from markets 
provided good rail facilities are to be had. Cooperation is a third factor that 
can be made to aid in offsetting the disadvantage of rather distant locations 
from the better markets because it makes possible the buying of feed and 
supplies in larger quantities at lower prices and permits marketing of finished 
products to better advantage. 

For these reasons the poultry districts have largely developed in the more 
populous areas and near to the larger cities or within grain growing areas 
possessing favorable rail connections with the larger cities where the demand 
is much greater than the supply and prices good. 

The Petaluma district surrounding Petaluma, Sonoma County, thirty-nine 
miles from San Francisco and including the towns of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol 
and Sonoma, the Hayward district in Alameda County, in the vicinity of the 
city of Hayward, twenty miles from San Francisco, the Los Angeles district 
embracing Los Angeles and vicinity and including the cities of Riverside, 
Pomona, San Gabriel, Burbank and Gardena are examples of prosperous poultry 
centers that have developed primarily as a result of being near Los Angeles 
or San Francisco. The districts around Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and 
Tulare are in grain growing areas possessed of excellent rail facilities. Poultry 
districts have also grown up around Santa Cruz and San Diego because these 
two cities are popular tourist and summer resorts. 

Poultry farming in the districts mentioned above and in the Santa Clara 
Valley, Napa Valley, San Mateo County, and the Sacramento Valley west of 
the Sacramento River and north of Benecia as well as the area north of 
Sacramento is capable of much greater development and most of these last 
mentioned areas will become increasingly desirable for poultry farming as the 
population of the state grows and lines of transportation are developed more 
extensively — especially in an east and west direction. Good roads and motor 
trucks have already begun to play a very important role in bringing the country 
closer to the city and making it possible for the poultry raiser to penetrate 
considerably further into the country where land is cheaper before getting 
beyond effective reach of profitable markets. 

Poultry raising requires good farming land because the green feed, at least, 
must be grown and because forage crops should also be raised as much as 
possible in the poultry yards if the soil is to be kept sweet and free from 
disease spreading contamination. The value of resting the land from poultry 
and sowing to green crops every few months is so well recognized that 
the use of double yards for each pen of fowls is becoming more general from 
year to year. Alkali land and barren hillsides are entirely unsuitable. 

Fowls will do well on practically any well drained agricultural soil. The 


lighter, sandy and gravelly loams are preferred, however, to the heavier soil 
types because of a more rapid drainage of surface water and drying of the 
surface soil. For example, on sandy soils with good underdrainage, a heavy 
rain will sink into the ground about as fast as it falls, the surface will be dry 
enough for fowls to use the yards soon after rain ceases and such soils do not 
become sticky when moist. On heavy clay soils, however, rain drains away 
much more slowly and the surface soil remains damp and sticky for days, 
especially in winter. A moist, sticky soil surface adheres to the feet of the 
fowls. They track this wet soil into the nests and scratching pens so that 
scratching litter and nests quickly get dirty and damp and the percent of dirty 
eggs increases. Dirty, damp pens must be restrawed. Dirty eggs must be 
washed. Washed eggs deteriorate more rapidly than unwashed eggs and are 
worth less. To prevent restrawing of scratching pens and dirty eggs from 
this cause, fowls must be confined to houses to a greater extent on heavy 
than on light soils. 

The size of the average poultry farm is from five to twenty acres. A ten- 
acre farm can accommodate from 2000 to 3000 adult fowls and allow for the 
growing of green feed and young stock to maintain the adult flock. As high 
as 1000 or more fowls per acre of yard space are kept on some commercial 
farms but not more than 500 per acre is greatly to be preferred if the land is 
to be kept free from contamination, the stock in continued good health and a 
most permanent success secured. Too great crowding is unprofitable. 

Fowls are raised almost entirely for eggs and the S. C. White Leghorn 
is used most extensively for this purpose. Egg production has proven more 
successful than the production of market poultry, perhaps because eggs are 
in greater demand than table poultry and the margin of profit is larger. 

The money needed to make a successful start in poultry raising is rather 
less than for most other types of farming and it is for this reason that so 
many people with limited means desiring to leave industrial work and go 
into farming, turn to poultry. A total investment, including dwelling, of from 
five to ten dollars per laying hen is required, which would be distributed some- 
what as follows: 30 per cent in land, 40 per cent in buildings and fencing for 
chicken yards, etc., 20 per cent in stock, 4 per cent in equipment such as a 
horse, plow, harrow, green feed cutter, etc., 3 per cent in feed and other 
supplies, 3 per cent in cash. 

The net profits or labor income will range from 50 cents to $1.50 per laying 
hen, depending largely upon the knowledge and experience of the poultry 

One thousand laying hens is about as small a number as one could afford 
to start with if poultry must furnish the entire living. Wherever possible it is 
best for the beginner lacking experience to start with one hundred to three 
hundred hens as a side issue until sufficient experience is obtained to justify 
breaking loose from other sources of income and devoting all his efforts to 
poultry farming. 

With one acre for each 500 hens, one acre for the growing of green feed, 
one acre for dwelling, barn, garden and the rearing of young stock a minimum 
of four acres would be needed for a 1000-hen farm. If a cow were kept and 
some hay raised for the horse, five acres would prove more satisfactory. 

On the basis of an investment of $5 per hen, a 1000-hen plant would require 
a total capital of $5000, of which about $1500 would go into land, $2000 into 


buildings, including living quarters, $1000 into stock, $200 into equipment, 
$150 into feed and supplies and $150 into ready cash. The investment in land 
will vary with the price paid, and the value per acre for poultry will be subject 
to favorableness of location and quality of soil. A location within a very 
short haul of a high class poultry and egg market and wholesale feed markets 
is worth more than another where the hauls would be greater and freight and 
express costs higher. 

Land used for poultry farming ranges from about $100 to more than $500 
per acre with an average price of about $300. Ownership predominates over 
tenancy among poultrymen. Suitable poultry farms to rent are not very 
numerous and the fact that so many buildings are needed causes poultry raisers 
to hesitate to build on rented land. They prefer to own the land they build on. 

By E. R. deOng, Instructor in Entomology 

Beekeeping in California is developing into a profession rather than a side 
line to other farming enterprises. Outbreaks of brood diseases in recent years 
have reduced the number of small holdings materially and only those persisted 
who could and would give enough attention to the subject to master its details. 
The recent advance in the price of honey has stimulated the industry greatly 
and yet the increase is largely in the hands of the few. 

Extracted honey makes up the bulk of the product of the state, comb 
honey being produced only in limited quanitities and confined largely to 
regions near the larger towns, where the local market conserves the output, 
excepting the large comb-honey district in Inyo County. 

The leading honey producing regions of the state are the southern Coast 
Range beginning in Ventura County and extending south into San Diego 
County, Imperial Valley, the plateau region of southern California, extending 
from east San Diego County into Inyo County, the San Joaquin Valley and the 
central portion of the Sacramento Valley. Other regions of less importance, or 
at least not so highly developed, are the Coast Range from Monterey County 
north into Mendocino County and the foothill regions of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains from Placer County south to Kern County. 

Many good localities for the beekeeper are still to be found in the state, 
particularly in the northern regions. The great national forests are largety 
unoccupied, the industry being largely confined to farming and orchard lands 
and the adjacent hill country, while thousands of acres of mountain land that 
every year are producing more or less nectar, remain unused. These higher 
regions may never produce as heavy a flow of nectar as the sage districts in 
good years, but on account of a heavier rainfall are less subject to fluctuations. 

The value of the bee as a pollinizing agent for the orchard is also beginning 
to be recognized by the fruit growers and now many of them are offering 
special inducements to the beekeeper to locate near them or to keep the bees 
near the orchard in the blooming season. 

Honey producing plants of California are of two types: (1) the cultivated 
plant or tree whose moisture supply is regulated by tillage or irrigation and 
hence yields a fairly constant supply of nectar, (2) native vegetation, depend- 


ing on the local rainfall for its supply of moisture and therefore of little value 
in dry years. The first group includes alfalfa, beans, orchard trees and deco- 
rative plants. Of these alfalfa is the most important plant for the great 
valleys, yielding nectar from June until late in the summer. In southern 
California the citrus fruits and beans are heavy yielders. The second group 
includes the sages, of which there are a number of species in the southern 
Coast Range, blooming at different seasons. These give a heavy flow of nectar 
in the years of heavy rainfall. But the shrubs as well as the annuals, such 
as ' ' filaree, ' ' blue curls and bur clover are alike subject to failure in the dry 
years and then the apiary must be moved to another location or fed through 
the season. 

Capital invested in beekeeping is represented almost entirely by the bees 
and their housing. No land need be purchased, or at least but one or two 
acres, the usual practice being to lease one-quarter to one-half an acre of land 
in the desired locality. This is ample room for two or three hundred colonies. 
In addition to the bees and the hives with extra bodies, a honey extractor, 
empty honey containers and a few small pieces of apparatus and tools are 
needed. At present a colony of bees, including the hive, sells for from ten to 
fifteen dollars, owing to the strain of bees and their strength and condition. 
The demand in the last two years has been so great that even at this price 
they are difficult to buy. Swarms of bees can sometimes be caught along 
timber and in this way a start secured with very little capital. 

An experienced beekeeper can care for three or four hundred colonies with 
an extra helper during the busiest season. The total investment for an apiary 
of four hundred colonies would be from $4000 to $5000. To handle this number 
would require one helper for three or four months at $50 to $75 per month, 
including board and room. Work of this type is extremely valuable for the 
beginner who desires to learn the beekeeping business or determine for himself 
his fitness for such work. 

If the beekeeper desires to increase his holdings it is possible each year to 
divide the stronger colonies without materially affecting the yield of honey 
for the year, dependent upon the locality and the season. 

The average yield of extracted honey for California is given by the Year 
Book of the State Board of Agriculture at seventy pounds per colony. Con- 
sidering 20 cents per pound a good price for the fall of 1918, this would mean 
a gross income of $14 per colony, which would be equal to the original cost. 
This price, however, is excessive, the average for recent years, as given in the 
Year Book, is 7 cents. But when lower prices on honey are prevailing, the 
cost of bees is less so that in the hands of an experienced beekeeper there is 
the possibility of a gross annual income equal to the original investment. 

There is a cooperative marketing association of beekeepers now established 
in the state which controls the major part of the product thus stabilizing the 

(From the standpoint of crop production) 

1. Northwest Coast Eegion. 

2. Central Coast Eegion. 

3. Southern Coast Eegion. 

4. Interior Valley Eegion. 

5. Mountain Plateau Eegion.